Not satisfied with a single Raphael painting, Isabella Stewart Gardner waited just two years before purchasing her second work by the artist. This small panel, exquisitely preserved with luminous colors, was painted as part of a narrative predella, or lower register of an altarpiece, for a convent of Franciscan nuns in Perugia, Italy. In the early seventeenth century, the predella was separated from the rest of the altarpiece, and both parts began their journey through the art world.
Gardner acquired her fragment in 1900, while J.P. Morgan purchased largest part of the same altarpiece one year later. She set this painting on a table, with a chair positioned as if to allow close, personal contemplation of the picture. She arranged the display perpendicular to the window, to catch daylight for viewing.