The attribution was kindly confirmed by Jörg Merz, who dated the drawing to the 1630s. Dr. Merz compared the drawing with two red chalk sheets in the Farnesina and the Uffizi, J.M. Merz, Pietro da Cortona, der Aufstieg zum führenden Maler im barocken Rom, Tübingen, 1991, figs. 309 and 317. Both drawings relate to the prints for Ferrari's book De Florum Cultura published in Rome in 1633 (for which a compositional drawing was sold from the Stichting Collectie P. en N. de Boer, Christie's London, 4 July 1995, lot 58).
During the same period Cortona painted a crucifixion for the Barberini Chapel, Rome (J.M. Merz, op. cit., fig. 358), but that commission is probably not connected to the present drawing as Christ is lit from the opposite direction.