Describing the present sheet as ‘a fine example of the artist’s later graphic manner’, Stella Rudolph has noted that the head of a child on the recto of this drawing is a preparatory study for a winged putto at the top of Maratta’s painting of The Death of Saint Joseph, dated 1676 and today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The painting was commissioned from Maratta by the papal legate Cardinal Alberizzi for the private chapel of the Empress Eleonora Gonzaga of Mantua, wife of the Emperor Ferdianand III, in the Hofburg in Vienna. The study of a penitent saint on the verso of the sheet remains unconnected to any surviving work by Maratta, and would appear to be a study for an unknown painting. This drawing was once part of an album of drawings by Maratta and other artists, in all likelihood assembled in the late 17th century or early 18th century. The album included twenty-seven chalk drawings by Maratta, most of which were preparatory studies for paintings. Owned by the Shirley family at Ettington Park in Warwickshire, the album was acquired from them in 1937 by P. & D. Colnaghi. Drawings by Maratta from the Ettington Park album are today in the collections of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the Institut Néerlandais in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.