The attribution to Peterzano was suggested simultaneously, on the basis of photographs, by Jonathan Bober and Giulio Bora in communications dated 22 and 25 November 2002. Both specialists pointed out the precise relationship of this drawing with Peterzano's fresco of The Miracle of the Mule in the chapel of Saint Anthony in the Church of Sant'Angelo in Milan (E. Baccheschi, 'Simone Peterzano' in I Pittori bergamaschi, Il Cinquecento, IV, Bergamo, 1978, no. 4). The frescoes were executed before 1591, the year the chapel was dedicated to Saint Anthony by its patron Cesare Fossati. The drawing is a large finished modello for the fresco but differs from it in many details, such as the positions of several of the secondary figures, and the landscape in the background.
Giulio Bora has published two further large modelli, in the Teyler Museum in Haarlem and in the Uffizi, for the the fresco of The Predication of Saint Anthony, which is situated next to The Miracle of the Mule (G. Bora, 'Da Peterzano a Caravaggio: un'ipotesi sulla pratica disegnativa', Paragone, 2002, 41-2, p. 8, pls. 8 and 10). Two other drawings close in style to the present one were illustrated in Giulio Bora's article as plates 6 and 7.