The painter of this small-scale copper of The Finding of Moses continues to elude scholars. At the time of its sale in 2014 (see Provenance), the general consensus was that it was Italian, probably Roman, from the second half of the 17th century. It has since been suggested that the painting is by Roman artists such as Francesco Cozza (1605-1682), Michelangelo Ricciolini (1654-1715), or Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727). More recently, however, scholarship has pointed to France, and close to artists such as Nicolas-Pierre Loir and Jean Cotelle II (1607 - 1676), who both spent a number of years painting in Rome but ultimately worked in Paris.
Though he studied with both Simon Vouet and Sebastien Bourdon, it was Nicolas Poussin that had the most influence on Loir's work. The young artist spent almost a decade in Italy studying Poussin's paintings and is said to have made copies of his work. The influence of Poussin's classicizing style and composition is evident in the present painting of The Finding of Moses. Upon his return to France in 1650, Loir received numerous commissions for churches and private collectors in Paris. He was reçu by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1663 and received a regular pension from King Louis XIV starting in 1668.