Though only about twenty paintings by the artist are known today, Portelli had an active career in Florence alongside such Mannerist artists as Pontormo, Bronzino and Francesco Salviati. Indeed the slightly eccentric physiognomy and the sculptural interpretation of his subjects, depicted in bright colours, bring to mind the work of those Florentine contemporaries.
Portelli's early activity, recorded by Giorgio Vasari, was in collaboration with Salviati over the decoration for the festivities marking the occasion of the wedding of Cosimo I with Eleonora di Toledo in 1539 (Le Vite, G. Milanesi, ed., VI, Florence, 1906, p. 444). Later, he is recorded in the Arte dei Medici e Speziali (1545) and in the Accademia del Disegno from its foundation in 1563.
Pierluigi Carofano dates this picture to circa 1560, just after the Annunciation in Portelli's native town in Valdarno, dated 1555, and possibly before the Pietà also in Loro Ciuffenna, dated 1561. Furthermore, the style of the picture compares to the Charity in the Prado, Madrid, and the Sybil sold at Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 2000, lot 21 ($101,500).