The present painting is based on Raphael's La Belle Jardinire, painted in 1507, now in the Muse du Louvre, Paris. Raphael's masterpiece enjoyed enormous popularity in his own lifetime, and Scarsellino would have likely known it when it was in the collection of Filippo Sergadis in Siena, in the second half of the sixteenth century. As a young painter living in Ferrara, a Vatican state, Scarsellino was commissioned to paint replicas of paintings by Garofalo, Dosso Dossi and Girolamo Carpi. The present lot corresponds closely with Raphael's preliminary drawing for the Louvre painting, now in the collection of the Earls of Leicester, Holkham Hall, Norfolk, England, and is, therefore, closer to Raphael's original idea rather than his finished painting. Where Scarsellino's painting most dramatically differs is in the depiction of the landscape, which is treated in a more Mannerist style, and also shows the influence Giulio Romano and Giovanni Francesco Penni.
We have been informed that Dr. Novelli has seen the present painting in the original and has confirmed the attribution to Scarsellino (verbal communication). Presumably an early work by the artist, it can be compared to Scarsellino's altarpiece painted for the church of San Domenico in Ferrara (see M.A. Novelli, Lo Scarsellino, 1955, p. 30, no. 41, fig. 22).
In the original 16th century Florentine carved and partial giltwood walnut frame.