These canvasses are among the finest of the relatively few secular works by Girolamo da Santacroce, who concentrated on the production of devotional pictures. His master, Gentile Bellini, who died in 1507, left Santacroce half of the figure studies he had executed as a result of his visit of 1479-81 to Constantinople, and lent to Pinturicchio for use in the Borgia Appartments and elsewhere. Orientals appear in a number of Santacroce's works, including the Murano altarpiece of 1507, the Risen Christ of 1517 in the Accademia, Venice and the Dresden Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. Ariosto's poem, Orlando Furioso, first published in 1516, evidently gave the artist an opportunity to redeploy his master's interest in the East. Another panel, also measuring 12 by 48 inches, of episodes from the poem, is in the Museum of Columbus, Ohio, but includes no representation of Orientals. Of particular interest in the second panel of these panels is the representation of a room hung with tapestries which are being inspected by candlelight. The prominent parrots in both compositions may be of heraldic significance.
The pictures were both apparently owned by the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (1787-1863), an early collector of Italian Renaissance pictures. These were not mentioned by Dr. Waagen, who stayed at Wooton in 1850 and may have been acquired subsequently, presumably in London where Bromley attended numerous sales. His collection included such masterpieces as the Giotto Dormition of the Virgin at Berlin and Bellini's Agony in the Garden in the National Gallery, London.