This drawing is connected to the famous composition commissioned in three versions from Paolo de Matteis in Naples by Lord Shaftesbury. The first, now at St. Giles House in Dorset, was commissioned in February 1712 and already finished in April. A second version, of a smaller size, was commissioned in June of that year, and it is now in the Leeds City Art Gallery. This seems to be the most well-known of the three versions. The last painting, smaller than the Leeds version, is now in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich (see Nicola Spinosa, Pittura Napoletana del Settecento, Naples 1986, vol. I, p. 133, reproduced fig. 148). The subject, which is taken from a moral tale by Prodicus, a Sophist friend of Plato and Socrates, is Hercules as he makes his choice between Virtue and Vice. Vice is personified by the reclining nude, beckoning Hercules to the easy path of love and lust, and Virtue, whom Hercules finally chooses, by a clothed figure brandishing a sword which evokes the attributes of justice, fortitude and constancy.