Mateo Cerezo was only seventeen when he moved from his native Burgos to Madrid to study with the court painter Juan Carreño de Miranda (1614-1685). He quickly became a highly proficient artist, in demand from a large and diverse clientele. Carreño exposed his pupil to the work of great masters such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian, whose influence we see in the complex composition and refined draughtsmanship of Cerezo’s style. Buendía and Pastor date this painting to 1661-62, and record two copies by Antonio Carnicero (see literature). This painting is related to a second smaller version on copper (72.5 x 56 cm) with some variations in the details, in The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (inv. no. ET-1456) and the figure of the Madonna is seemingly based on a ink wash drawing in the Babra Collection, Barcelona.1
1. See J.R. Buendía and I.G. Pastor, Vida y Obra Del Pintor Mateo Cerezo, Burgos 1968, p. 215, cat. no. AD-1, reproduced.