Inscribed on verso of lining, at center, in graphite, probably by J. Bailey, "JB / Vol.II no.16".
As first noted by Olsen, the studies are quite close to flying cherubim at the very top in Barocci’s Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, painted by Barocci for the altar of the left transept of the Chiesa Nuova in Rome and still in situ today (Emiliani 1985, II, 346-359; Turner 2000, no. 3; Emiliani 2008, 2:249-67). The two studies of the infant’s head on the left half of the sheet are probably for the head of a putto at upper left, the single large study on the right half, for the head at upper right; both are cropped by the top edge of the canvas. The painting was begun in 1592, but Barocci only completed and delivered it in 1603.
Olsen 1962, 192, no. 46; Cleveland and New Haven 1978, 89, no. 68; Emiliani 2008, 2:265, no. 72:56.
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, IV, 155.
Probable watermark on lining.
Bayley, John, -1869, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.