As first noted by Scholz in 1970 there is another version of this sheet, almost identical to the Morgan Library drawing, in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome (Grassi 1968, 20:, no. 31a). Grassi gives the alternate version to Palma Giovane because of its stylistic similarity to a design in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, for an altarpiece of Christ surrounded by angels with Saints John the Evangelist, Mark, and Paul below, signed and dated 1614 (Dyce 252; Tietze and Tietze-Conrat 1944, no. 992, no. 180). However, the facial features and handling of anatomy are dissimilar enough to argue against the comparison with Palma, and the overall quality of the Morgan Library and San Luca drawings - particularly apparent in the handling of space and the modelling of the figures - is decidedly that of a lesser hand. The drawing is characterized by mannerist flourishes reminiscent of Vasari and his circle, though it is not Florentine.
It is not clear when the attribution to Corona arose. A rare draughtsman, only a handful of drawings are given to him. These include an Annunication in the Louvre (inv. 5815; Venice 1966, no. 21) and Mutius Scaevola putting his hand in the fire in the Witt collection, London (inv. 1725), both with old ascriptions to Corona, as well as the Virgin and Child with two female saints in Christ Church, Oxford (Hadeln 1926, no. 103). These pen drawings are similar enough in style and handling to the Morgan Library one that they conceivably might be by the same hand. If so, this drawing must have been created at a different point in the artist’s career than a rather more typical sheet by Corona in the Morgan Library (No. 1993.33).
Oakland and elsewhere 1959, no. 20; Montgomery 1976, no. 37.
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 249.
Venetian Drawings from the Collection of János Scholz. Montgomery, Ala. : Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1976, no. 37, repr. (includes previous bibliography and exhibitions).
Moscardo family, former owner.
Calceolari, marquis de, former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.