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The object in the foreground the main figure is holding was thought to be a stone, leading scholars to believe that the man was the biblical hero Samson, who was condemned to turning a millstone after he was captured. Infra-red reflectography and recent restoration work have revealed that the object is in fact the back of a stringed musical instrument and the work has been identified as the Three Great Singing Heads by Giorgione as documented in the Gabriele Vendramin inventory (1567–1569)