Nicholas Turner has confirmed the attribution to Guercino on studying the drawing in the original.
Drawings by Guercino in coloured chalks are extremely rare. The 1859 Bouverie sale catalogue lists three drawings in the medium in addition to the present drawing, all apparently belonging to Guercino's nephews, but none of these can now be traced. Until the appearance of the present sheet, the only one known has been the Holy Family in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (D.M. Stone, Guercino Master Draftsman, exhib. cat., Cambridge, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, and elsewhere, 1991, no. 23). Sir Denis Mahon has suggested that such drawings were probably presentation works made for a special patron or friend (quoted in F. Stampfle and J. Bean, The Seventeenth Century in Italy, exhib. cat., New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1967, under no. 48).