Born in Rezzato, Brescia, where he attended the School of Design, Giovanni Battista Lombardi (d. 1880) studied under Lorenzo Vela in Milan and subsequently moved to Rome to work with Pietr Tenerani on funerary monuments, busts and reliefs of religious and classical inspiration. Establishing his own studio, Lombardi progressed to more genre and intimate subjects and was particularly keen on the portrayal of Old Testament heroines. As well as the present work, Susanna, other titles in this series included Deborah, Rebecca and Ruth. A life-size version of the latter, dated 1864, was sold in these rooms, 14 May 1998, lot 168. A larger version of the present work, signed and dated 1872, was sold in these rooms, 29 October 1998, lot 199.