and on the reverse of the canvas: Anno Aetatis Suae LIX. Obijt XXI Martij / 1676. Annum LXXX agens
The painting enjoys a distinguished provenance. The Bolognese Senator Marescalchi was a notable collector and ardent supporter of Napoleon, earning several important political positions, and was depicted in David's Napoleon Crowning Empress Joséphine, today in the Louvre.2 The work subsequently passed in to the collection of the Lithuanian Count Benedict Emmanuel Tyszkiewicz, who is known to have owned other works by Guercino.
The attribution has been independently endorsed by Dr David Stone and Dottoressa Barbara Ghelfi after inspection of the original.
1. B. Ghelfi, ed., Il libro dei conti del Guercino, Venice 1997, pp. 223-25.
2. The present painting is listed in Marescalchi's inventories of 1813, 1817 and 1824.
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