This intimate and highly sensitive drawing, executed by Murillo in a combination of golden brown ink, brown wash and red and black chalk, was unpublished prior to its emergence on the French art market in 2006. It has been dated to circa 1656-58 by Manuela Mena Marqués, who draws attention to the drawing’s undoubted quality as well as its technical, stylistic and compositional similarities with other works by the artist, most notably a later drawing, also depicting the Virgin and Child
, now in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.1
Aside from the close compositional comparisons to be drawn between these two drawings, they also, most intriguingly, both share the same old attribution, distinctively written - Morillo
- suggesting that they were, at some point, in the same collection.
1. Mena Marqués, op. cit., pp. 394-397, no. 77, reproduced