The inscription in the present work identifies the bishop saint as Saint Ignatius of Loyola (c. 1491-1556), founder of the order of the Jesuits. The scene depicted is taken from Jacobus de Voraigne's The Golden Legend (trans., W.G. Ryan, Princetown, 1995, I, pp. 140-141.), which records how Saint Ignatius sent a letter to the Virgin (seen through the window) asking for reassurance for what he had heard about Jesus Christ from his teacher, Saint John. In her reply, the Virgin confirms that what he has heard is true and encourages him to be steadfast in his commitment.
Ignatius was canonized in 1622 and that he is depicted here in this way suggests a terminus ante quem dating of 1622 for the present work.
We are grateful to Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., of the Western Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, for suggesting the subject.