Canvas as a support has been used in Italy since the 14th century, but at that time only rarely. It was still unusual in the 15th century but gained popularity in the end of the century. Panel painting remained more common until the 16th century. In ”A Treatise on Painting”, a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s writings entered in his notebooks under the general heading ”On Painting”, Leonardo explains in detail how to prepare and paint on canvas. Leonardo executed a number of works on canvas while working under Verrocchio in the 1470s.
Textile identification performed by paintings conservator Nina Olivier, Stockholm. She concludes that the canvas of the painting most likely is linen.