This drawing was based on a relief found in Hadrian’s villa in 1753. This relief has become known as the 'Albani Antinous' because it was later acquired by Cardinal Albani. It is still in the Villa Albani.
Campaglia made a lucrative living out of drawing antique sculpture, sometimes for reproduction as engravings or illustrated guidebooks to important collections. More often they were sold to visitors to Rome on the Grand Tour as souvenirs of their travels. Campaglia also made a living by offering drawing lessons to these wealthy tourists.
This drawing was one of over 100 drawings by the artist acquired by the distinguished collector of antique sculpture, William Lock (1732-1810). Some of these were later purchased by David Pennant (1763-1841).