The figure in the present picture derives from the sibyl in the right foreground of Benson's Deipara Virgo, now in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (G. Marlier, Ambrosius Benson, Brussels, 157, pp. 302-3, no. 8, pl. XLIII). The artist was evidently proud of this figure as he re-used it numerous times. In addition to a number of variants in which she appears as The Magdalen holding an ointment jar (see for instance, the picture at Hampton Court; ibid., no. 94, pl. XLV), and as The Magdalen reading (for example, the picture in the National Gallery, London; ibid., no. 105, pl. XLIX), Benson also painted her as an isolated figure holding a book, in the picture in the Louvre, Paris (ibid., no. 85, pl. XLI) and another sold in these Rooms, 4 July 1997, lot 29 (£120,000; ibid., no. 99, pl. XLVI). The present picture appears to be the only known version in which she is shown with her hands joined in prayer.