The Latin inscription extolls the depicted warrior as a paragon of Roman virtue, a hard-working defender of the Roman house and a vanquisher of enemies. The composition would seem to be inspired by a celebrated series of Roman Emperors painted by Titian for the Gonzaga court at Mantua, and subsequently recorded in the Galería del Mediodía of the Alcázar, Madrid, from 1666 to 1734, when they perished in the great fire (see Harold E. Wethey, The Paintings of Titian, III, London, 1975, no. L-12, pp. 45-7 and 235-40, figs. 31-50).