Not a lot is known about this painting, although it has been suggested it might be a self portrait of the artist. Although predominately known for his work as a sculptor and architect, it is recorded that Bernini painted more than 150 pictures, probably in the main for his own pleasure. Bernini’s few pictures are mainly head studies and portraits and only a handful of works can be confidently attributed to him now. These are generally dated some time between the mid-1620s and the mid-1630s, and are in the style of Carravagio, common to many Roman paintings of the period. He also admired the work of Rubens and Poussin. Bernini also created several portrait drawings, among them a famous self-portrait housed at Windsor Castle which he painted late in his life.