The Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (1787-1863) had inherited Wootton Hall, Staffordshire, in 1822 and first visited Italy that year. By the 1840s he had formed a collection of considerable range and distinction, securing many key works at auction at Christie's and elsewhere. He owned such masterpieces as Bellini's Agony in the Garden (London, National Gallery) and Giotto's Dormition of the Virgin (Gemaldegalerie, Berlin). Gustav Waagen, on recording his visit to Wootton (Treasures of Art in Great Britain, III, London, 1854, p.371), wrote of him that 'Mr. Davenport Bromley is an ardent admirer of all such pictures, be they of the 13th century or 16th century, in which an unaffected and genuine feeling is expressed. I found, accordingly, in his house a number of works, chiefly altarpieces, illustrating the Italian schools from their first rise in the 13th century to their highest development in the 16th, such as I have not yet met with ... in any other gallery in England'.