An inscription on the back of this sheet states that this head was used by Palma in an altarpiece showing John the Baptist that was destined for a church in Serinalta (Palma?s home town) near Bergamo. No such painting survives. The drawing is in fact almost certainly a self-portrait, with the figure twisting his neck to peer into a mirror in order to capture his own reflection. The features are very similar to those of two probable painted self-portraits by Palma. In Palma?s portraits of other figures, the sitter is invariably presented to the viewer with his or her torso angled less sharply into the picture space.