For one of the eight compartments of the cupola of the Duomo in Piacenza. Guercino received the commission to decorate the cupola in 1626 after the death of Morazzone, who had begun the cycle the year before. The cupola was divided into eight compartments, each with a prophet over a putto holding a flag. Morazzone had already painted two compartments of the cupola when Guercino took over. Between May 1626 and November 1627 Guercino finished the cupola, and had painted four scenes of the life of Christ and eight sibyls flanking the windows.
Guercino prepared for the cupola with numerous drawings, listed by P. Bagni, op. cit., nos. 17-35. The first stage in the composition of each compartment was a free sketch in pen and ink preparing the main figures. Those for Jeremiah are in the Mahon Collection, in the Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, Rome and in a private collection, P. Bagni, op. cit., nos. 30-2. The present drawing represents the second stage, the study of the drapery. The corresponding study for the prophet Ezekiel, with the same provenance as the present drawing, was sold at in these Rooms, 7 July 1998, lot 117. Further drapery studies of this type are in the Koenig-Fachsenfeld collection in Stuttgart.