After studying under Domenichino and, subsequently, Pietro da Cortona, Romanelli's career was launched in the 1630s by the commissions he received from the Barberini family, notably for the Palazzo Barberini, Rome (and in particular the ceiling fresco there of Divine Providence), and for the Barberini Pope Urban VII for St. Peter's and the Vatican Palace. This close connection with the Barberini would, however, prove to be damaging under Urban's successor, Pope Innocent X, who ousted many of the Barbarini protégés. It was no coincidence, therefore, that Romanelli left for Paris in 1645, at the invitation of Cardinal Mazarin, chief advisor to Anne of Austria, the Queen Regent, and a political ally of Cardinal Francesco Barbarini. In 1648, however, Romanelli returned to Rome, where he was engaged to decorate the Lante, Altemps and Costaguti palaces, before being summoned back to Paris by Mazarin, where he worked on the decoration of Queen Anne's Summer apartment in the Louvre (1755-7), after which he returned to Italy.
The attribution of the present work was first advanced by Dr. Erich Schleier. It was confirmed by Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco (loc.cit.), who in dating the picture to circa 1654, places it just before Romanelli's second visit to Paris.