The subject is taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, 31, vs. 26-30. J. Merz suggests this drawing may be connected with a frieze cycle, similar to that in the Palazzo Pamphili for which there are studies at Windsor and Holkham Hall.
J.M. Merz, Pietro da Cortona und sein Kreis. Die Zeichnungen in Düsseldorf, Berlin, 2005, pp. 121-2, fig. 110, p. 121, p. 456, note 56.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's Monaco, 13 June 1982, lot 119.
with Thomas Williams and Lutz Riester, London (cat. European Master Drawings, New York, Paul Drey Gallery, 1991, no.20).