Note that van der Doort's description of this work is mistaken (9 figures, but they are not drawing in a line) or the work has become confused with another by Polidoro in the Third Privy Lodging Room.
Part of a series of long, narrow panels by the Lombard artist Polidoro da Caravaggio, Raphael’s most unconventional pupil. Charles I bought it as one of 23 Italian pictures from the dealer William Frizell in 1637.
Despite being hung in a subordinate, decorative fashion beneath other pictures, there is evidence that in the 1630s Charles was hungry to acquire examples of Polidoro’s work, having heard rumour of the artist’s brilliance. The series remains in the Royal Collection today, almost intact.