Donated by Marchese Giacomo Spinola in 1838, it is indicated as no. 24 in the 1844 inventory of the picture gallery of the Accademia, under the title Un convitato macchietta di B. Strozzi. In another, undated, 19th-century inventory, it is given as Parabola del Vangelo di B. Strozzi (AAL, filza 518/1).
It was painted by Strozzi in 1636 as a preparatory study for the large canvas, later destroyed, in the church of the Incurabili in Venice. Another study of the same work is in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. Critics have pointed out significant differences between these two contemporary paintings, revealing how the artist was able to “feel the same subject in different ways”. As well as a very diverse palette used for the two studies — sharp and brilliant in the Uffizi canvas, restrained and delicate in the Ligustica — the layout of the composition is also different: in the Florence painting, the figures are almost pushed forward in their dynamic poses, and almost intertwined with the surrounding Veronese-like architecture, while in the Genoa work they appear calmly settled against the broad expanse of sky veiled by clouds. It is clear that Strozzi was able to learn about other cultures in Venice and scholars have indeed stressed the importance of Lys for the Uffizi study, and of Feti, Elsheimer and Saraceni for the Ligustica oval, without neglecting Paolo Veronese, for Strozzi was able to learn even more about his work once he reached Venice.