The artist responsible for this well-preserved Renaissance panel was a pupil of Lorenzo di Credi for many years and later studied under Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. After he left Ridolfo's workshop, Antonio del Ceraiolo built up his own, somewhat conservative practice, painting a number of altarpieces, two of which are mentioned by Giorgio Vasari in his biography of Ridolfo.1
A similar painting to the present work, differing in the placement of the Christ Child and Saint John, as well as in the details of the landscape, is in the Cincinnati Art Museum (inv. no. 1954.138). Two other versions have been sold in these Rooms, one 7 December 2017, lot 109, and the other, less ornate and with the Christ Child shown clothed, 22 May 1968, lot 97.
Affixed to the reverse of the panel is an 18th-century label (fig. 1) on which Ignazio Hugford, Pietro Botti, Pietro Marchesini and Francesco Bartolozzi, Florentine artists and members of the Accademia di San Luca, claim the present work to have been executed by Raphael.
1 G. Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, trans. Gaston du C. de Vere, New York 1996, vol. II, p. 483.