This picture, of which the attribution to Reni is endorsed by Dr. Stephen Pepper and Sir Denis Mahon, who have both examined the picture, is a variant of the canvas of the subject in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome (D.S. Pepper, Guido Reni, l'Opera completa, Novara, 1988, no. 105), one of the artist's most popular inventions, to which the number of recorded replicas and copies attests. To what extent Reni employed studio assistants in the production of such replicas remains a matter for debate. Dr. Pepper suggests a date of circa 1632 for this picture and points out that the broad handling and the type of the Madonna are characteristic of Reni's late period. Although similar in general lay-out to the Doria picture, this canvas differs from the prototype in almost every point of detail: the head of the Child is turned to the spectator's right; his arms are altered and the relative position of his legs reversed: the type of the Madonna is altered and her hands are not joined in prayer.
The only other known version of the present picture, painted on copper, is in the Museum der Bildenden Knste in Leipzig. In his forthcoming article (loc. cit.) Doctor Pepper points out that this confirms his hypothesis that the artist often painted two versions of a composition, one on canvas and one on copper.