Giovanni Agostino della Torre, a Bergamo physician, is known to have died in 1535, aged 81. He was therefore 61 at the time this portrait was painted; the likeness of his son Niccolò was presumably added later by the painter.
The letter is inscribed: Dno Nicolao de la tur/re nobili bergom . . ./. . The foreground scroll is inscribed: Medicorum Esculapio/Joanni Augustino Ber/gomatj; amicosingmo/Bg.mj; on the book: Galienus.