A man on horseback, with sword and falcon, is a secular anomaly in a fresco cycle for a small medieval chapel that also included scenes from the life of Christ and an image of Saint Nicholas of Bari. The decorative scheme of the entire chapel combined scenes of liturgical significance with naturalistic, nonreligious forms such as leafy vines, dogs, and imaginary animals. The "Falconer" is the most notable of these subjects. The lively secular imagery and abstract patterns reflect the Moorish, or Islamic, traditions still prevalent in northern Spain in the twelfth century.
The frescoes were painted in the Romanesque style, so named because the artists and architects of that era sought to emulate the works of ancient Rome. Romanesque art is characterized by regular forms and an appreciation of line; in the "Falconer," this is evident in the bold outlines of the scrolling vines below and in the concentric, geometric motif ornamenting the register above the figure.