Anonymous sale, Paris, Piasa, 13 December 2006, lot 42.
This studio variant is a version of the signed canvas thought to be the original by Ribera, which was painted as one of a set of twelve philosophers for the artist's major patron around the years of 1629–31, Don Fernando Enríquez Afán de Ribera, 3rd Duke of Alcalá, Viceroy of Naples (and later of Sicily, 1632–36). This original canvas was sold London, Christie's, 2 July 2013, lot 34 and was most recently exhibited in London at Frieze Masterpiece in October 2018 with Colnaghi.
The canvas has a rather firm relining, the paint surface is slightly dirty and the varnish is slightly discoloured and shiny. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals two campaigns of restoration, which largely consist of fine networks of retouching to reduce the appearance of the distinctive square-shaped craquelure throughout. There are some more concentrated areas of retouching in the upper half of the background and the man’s sleeve, and areas of strengthening in the background around the man’s silhouette. These restorations have been sensitively executed and the painting is in overall fair condition without necessarily a need for further intervention. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."