Oil on copper, 13.5cm by 22.5cm. Signed and dated on reverse: Filippo Laoro.F. 1681.
The painting was purchased in Italy by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) whilst on his second Grand Tour in 1684.
It appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory with three other small works by the artist, PIC051, PIC047 and PIC026: ‘My Ladyes closett…..4 pictures on Copper in Ebbony frames (viz) a St Steven, a St laurence, an Appollo & Midas, Appollo fleying a Satir} by phillipo lauro.’
Filippo Lauri, the son of a Flemish landscape painter, was born in Rome, where he remained active for most of his life.
Amongst other things he frequently painted small-scale figures in the canvasses of Claude Lorraine (1600-1682).
Lauri was one of the principal artists patronised by Lord Exeter, who bought several of his works.