Described in the 1990 Sassoferrato exhibition catalogue as 'di qualit eccellente', this is significantly larger than the better known version of the composition at Modena, Galleria Estense, no. 8032, exhibited at Sassoferrato in 1990, no. 28, which measures 75 by 61 cm.
The debt owed to Reni in the composition of the Modena picture was noted in 1954 and is analysed in fuller detail in the 1990 catalogue. There, it is pointed out that Sassoferrato appears to have used an engraving by Guillaume Vallet that reverses a composition of which the original, now lost, was in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, and of which numerous copies exist (see D.S. Pepper, Guido Reni, L'Opera Completa, Novara, 1988, no. 107, there engraved by E. Gherardini). As usual, Sassoferrato adapted the design to fit his personal style, turning to Cantarini for the type of the Madonna. Mac de Lpinay notes the existence of two further versions of the head of the Madonna alone. Reni's composition was no doubt in part inspired by Raphael's Madonna of the Veil. Sassoferrato, who copied a number of compositions by Raphael, may well have been drawn to Reni's design for this reason.