The altarpiece of Saint Jerome, Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the Church of S. Cristoforo della Pace at Murano is recorded by Zanetti as having been painted for that Church in 1505. However, in 1733 when Zanetti wrote the Descrizione di tutte le pubbliche pitture della città di Venezia e isole circonvicine the altarpiece was already partly destroyed, and after 1771 it was replaced by one by Francesco Guardi depicting the same Saints (location unknown; F. Heinemann, loc. cit.).
Fritz Heinemann, who was the first to publish the present fragment and identified it as part of the lost altarpiece, points out that the model of the Church that the Cardinal Saint is holding is that of the destroyed Church of S. Cristoforo della Pace, the façade of which is known through a drawing by Canaletto (Florence, Gabinetto delle stampe degli Uffizi; ibid.).
Comparison with the signed and dated 1505 San Zaccaria altarpiece, which depicts Saint Jerome reading on the right, confirms the dating of this picture to the same year. In both, the Saint is depicted with a very similar physiognomy, his old age rendered with great sympathy. Remarkable also is the similarity of both altarpieces in the gentle handling of the brush in the face and the beard of the Saint, contrasting with the gravity of the drapery. It is not surprising that only a year later, after having seen late works like these, Albrecht Dürer wrote home from Venice to his friend Willibald Pirckheimer in Nuremberg that 'he [Bellini] is very old but still the best in painting'.