Alvaro Pirez de Evora, the greatest Portuguese master of the International Gothic and arguably the only major Portuguese painter before Nuno Gonçalves, spent his documented working life in what is now Tuscany, and seems to have been based in Pisa, which maintained significant trading links with other European centres. Pirez was influenced by earlier Pisan artists, and also by the Florentine Gherardo Starnina, who had been active for many years in Valencia before his return to Italy. The individuality of Pirez's artistic personality is suggested by such details as the closely described, unshaven face of the Saint Augustine.
As Andrea de Marchi recognised, this is the right-hand lateral panel of the main tier of a polyptych: its left-hand counterpart, Saint Michael and Saint John the Baptist, is in the Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw (see, most recently, P. Dias, catalogue of the exhibition Alvaro Pirez de Evora, Lisbon, 1994, no. 5), in which identical halo patterns are used. De Marchi (op. cit., below, p. 285, note 42) proposes that these flanked the Madonna and Child with Angels in the Museo di San Matteo, Pisa, which comes from the Collegiata of Nicosia, near Calci, east of Pisa: formerly signed 'ALVARVS PETRI DE PORTVGALI PINXIT', this has been regarded as an early work, but de Marchi suggests a date in the early 1420s. For his summary of Pirez's development see the catalogue of the exhibition, Sumptuosa tabula picta, Pittori a Lucca tra gotico e rinascimento, 1998, pp. 278-85.