The painting is a youthful work of Preti's first Roman period with the influence of Caravaggio clear.

Belonged to Benedict Nicolson and reflects his sympathy for artists exploring dramatic effects of artificial light. This work was purchased after the Art Fund organised a public appeal to set up the Benedict Nicolson fund in memory of Nicolson's long and distinguished editorship of the Burlington Magazine. These funds were then used to help purchase the work for the Ashmolean alongside the Art Fund grant.


Benedict Nicolson, by 1954.

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