Anonymous sale, Milan, Sotheby's, 11 June 2002, lot 88, for 40,000 euros (as circle of Gaspare Diziani, The Toilet of Venus).
A. Scarpa, Sebastiano Ricci, Milan 2006, p. 263, no. 342, reproduced in black and white on p. 433, fig. 151 (as Sebastiano Ricci).
Acquired in 2002 as a work from the circle of Gaspare Diziani, more recently Annalisa Scarpa published this as a painting by Sebastiano Ricci, datable to his years in Milan, where he worked between 1694 and 1696. Scarpa discusses the possible alternative interpretation of the scene as the Toilet of Venus, the intention of both subjects being to exalt the beauty of the female protagonist. The presence of an oriental-looking messenger at the right makes this unlikely. More recently, on the basis of a photograph, an alternative attribution to the young Gaspare Diziani (1689–1767) has been proposed by Dottor Ruggero Rugolo and Dottor Massimo Favilla. We are grateful to them for their comments.