The present sheet is part of a group of three by Schnetz, one of which, signed, dated 1817 and inscribed 'Rome', was with Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox (Nineteenth Century French Drawings and some Sculpture, 1996, no. 6), and another is illustrated in G. Bazin (op. cit., no. 1642). Another signed drawing of similar size from 1822 was with the Galerie de Bayser (Exposition de dessins anciens, 1984, no. 44, illustrated).
Schnetz was working in Rome at the Académie de France when Géricault arrived there in 1817. Although considered an eccentric by his fellow artists, Géricault was admired by Schnetz and his influence is particularly sensible in this drawing. That Géricault also admired Schnetz is reported by Antoine Monfort who met Géricault when he visited the studio of his master Horace Vernet: 'L'un d'eux, Schnetz, fut celui dont le nom revint le plus fréquemment à la bouche de M. Géricault qui semblait faire un cas extrême de son talent' (Notes sur Géricault à l'intention de Mr. Charles Clément, in S. Laveissière and R. Michel, Géricault, exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 1992, p. 312). Schnetz took Géricault to Ingres' studio in Rome in 1817.