Inscribed at lower left in pen and brown ink: "Paolo de Matteis".
This tender depiction of the Virgin and Child stamping on the head of a dragon is typical of De Matteis's soft drawing style. His elegant paintings and drawings transitioned away from the drama of the Baroque, which had dominated southern Italy though the work of Luca Giordano (1634-1705), to a more gentle mode of representation that would be continued by Francesco Solimena (1657-1747). The quatrefoil shape of the compositional frame suggests that this drawing was a preparatory sketch for a ceiling panel, although no painting that follows the drawing's design is known.
Sambon, Arthur, b. 1867, former owner.
McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.