The design is in fact recorded in a print by Mariano Bovi, which appears in the same orientation as the present canvas, although the background of the print lacks the drapery and window found in the painting. The print is after a painting formerly in the collection of Sir William Hamilton by 1784, when it was attributed to Parmigianino.1
This same attribution to Parmigianino was applied to the present painting when it was in the collection of Sir George Allen, although when it was sold at auction in 1990, it was given to an artist in the circle of Faccini. The distinctive handling lends itself to attributions to these two very different, idiosyncratic artists. It may be that the painting is from a less known phase of a particular artist's work, and in fact an attribution to the early phase of Federico Barocci's career has also been suggested.
1. See M. Mussini and G.M. De Rubeis, Parmigianino tradotto, Milan 2003, cat. no. 442.
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