Dating to circa 1460-70, this panel would have formed the central part of a retablo dedicated to the enthroned female saint. The modelled gesso relief work, or pastiglia, a technique referred to in some documents of the period as embutido (see J. Berg Sobre, ‘Two Fifteenth-Century Aragonese Retables and Painters of the Calatayud Group’, Journal of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981, p. 93), in the upper background, and continued in the halo and the stylised border of the saint’s cloak, indicates that the picture was made in the Kingdom of Aragon, or possibly Catalonia. Aragonese painting at the time was much infuenced by Early Netherlandish realism: important fgures included Bernardo de Arás, who worked in Huesca and followed Jaume Huguet, and Tomás Giner, who was arguably the leading artist of the time, operating mainly in Zaragoza and working for Ferdinand II of Aragon. Broad infuences of their work can be seen here, while the frontal depiction of the saint recalls the central panel of the renowned Borgia Triptych in the Collegiate Church of Xàtiva by Jacomart Baço.
The identifcation of the female saint is not immediately clear. In her right hand she holds the rosary, and on her lap is a Book of Hours, with the opening of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin visible on the page; it translates ‘Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall tell forth thy praise. God, come to my assistance.’ It may depict Santa Monica of Hippo, or possibly Santa Paciencia of Huesca, the mother of Saint Lawrence, one of the patron saints of Huesca – at one point the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon. Her image can be found in a panel attributed to Pedro Díaz de Oviedo (Colección BBVA), and in the decoration of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Huesca.