When it was sold in 1996 this drawing was described as a study for an angel in the upper right quadrant in Coypel's 1690 painting The Baptism of Christ. A winged figure in a similar pose appears in another painting by the artist, Adam and Eve under the Eyes of God after the Fall. Neither painted figure corresponds exactly to this angel with his arms crossed low on his chest and a swath of drapery over his arm. A preparatory drawing for the composition of Adam and Eve shows an angel looking down with arms crossed (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, NMH 2860/1863), though with different drapery and his arms brought up higher.
Despite these general correlations with works by Coypel, the execution of the sheet lacks the fluidity of execution or subtlety with color that distinguish the artist's preparatory drawings. It could be by another member of the Coypel family or workshop, or one of the artist's contemporaries.
Berger, W. M. B. (William Merriam Bart), 1925-1999, former owner.
Berger, Bernadette J., -2015, former owner.