This is a study for the eighth and last plate of the series of The Eight Beatitudes engraved by the artist in 1566. It was published three times, two editions being by Carel Collaert and Claes Jansz. Visscher. The engraving bears the inscription 'QVI PERSECVTIONE PATIVNTVR PROPTER IVSTITIAM, QVONIAM IPSORVM EST REGNVM CELORVM'.
Heemskerck's drawing for plate 1 is at Frankfurt, that for plate 3 is in the Courtalud Institute, London, that for plate 4 in the P.& N. de Boer Foundation in Amsterdam. The drawings for plates 5 and 7 were respectively sold at Christie's Amsterdam 25 November 1992, lot 506 and Sotheby's London, 27 June 1974. lot 165. All the drawings are dated 1566, like the present one.
The series illustrates the Eight Beatitudes taught by Christ and related in Matthew's Gospel (5:1-12).