This sheet is preparatory for the figure of Daniel in Rubens's painting Daniel in the Lions' Den. After establishing the position of the figures in compositional drawings and oil sketches, Rubens would make studies after the model for major figures to guide studio assistants in the execution of a painting. Here he outlined the figure in black chalk and blocked out shadows to indicate volume and light. The painting's fidelity to this study indicates that it belongs to the final stages of preparation.
Tuinen, Ilona van. Power and Grace : Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, 2018, no. 4 (repr.)
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, 232.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 142, no. 306, repr.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 37, p. 80-81.
Drawing is a study for the principal figure in the painting "Daniel in the Lions' Den" in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.