The present composition follows the marble relief depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds by Giovanni Bonazza and his sons, dated 1730, in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. Two other copies in terracotta are known, one in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, and another in the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia. It is possible that these were created for an international Grand Tour audience.
A. Bacchi (ed.), La Scultura a Venezia da Sansovino a Canova, Milan, 2000, fig. 269