|The Berlin painting [DE_smbGG_567B] is closely related to another woodcut, which was published in Martin Luther's Catechism of 1529, but which was probably designed in collaboration with Philip Melanchthon as early as 1527. This is then followed by a drawing in brown ink and wash, today in Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett, which Schade has most recently dated to around 1526. Although such a dating would separate the drawing from the present work by some eight years, there can be little doubt that the two are very similar. The figures of the standing lady-in-waiting on the extreme right of the composition, for example, and that of Bathsheba, with her eyes raised towards the king, both wearing large feathered hats, are the same in both pictures. The position of the maidservant washing Bathsheba's feet is, however, slightly different, and may have been more influenced by the corresponding figure in the Berlin painting. Recent infra-red reflectographs, taken shortly after the 1980 sale at the Schweizerisches Kunstinstitut, show that the execution of the panel at times varied from the preliminary underdrawing.|
Three further versions in the development of the composition date, like the present painting, from the 1530s. These are a horizontal panel in Dresden, Gemäldegalerie [DE_SKD_GG1930], a pen and ink drawing in Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste and an upright painting in Berlin, Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten [DE_SPSG_GKI1186]. All of these are now generally considered by scholars to be the work of Lucas Cranach the Younger and dated to around 1537-40. The autograph status of the present work, which lies between the two groups, has been the subject of much scholarly debate.
[Sotheby's online database;http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2008/old-master-paintings-evening-sale-l08033/lot.62.html?locale=en; accessed 20-03-2019]