The portrait was given as a gift by the owner of Hjulsta estate Fredrik August Liljecrantz to Magnus Brahe, the owner of Skokloster Castle in 1839, as it was thought that the portrait depicted Ebba Brahe (1596-1674). According to tradition the portrait once belonged to the collection of the Swedish Lord High Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna (1583-1654). The painting was possibly at Hjulsta estate, which belonged to Oxenstierna family during the 17th century. This portrait is connected to the bust-length portrait of Mary Villiers in the collection at Gripsholm Castle. The origin of that connection, however, is still unknown. It is possible that since both of them once supposedly belonged to the Oxenstierna family, the bust-portrait was painted after the larger one at Skokloster when the misleading connection to Ebba Brahe became standard. 19th century copies of the bust-portrait exist in both Sinebrychoff in Helsinki and at the museum in Jakobstad, Finland.
This unsigned portrait of Mary Villiers was probably painted around 1640. It shows influence from the many portraits of Mary Villiers executed by Anthony van Dyck at the same time, althought it can not be regarded as a reproduction of one in particular. The composition of the body shows a recemblance to the portrait of Mary Hill executed by Van Dyck in 1638, but also to several other portraits painted by Peter Lely at the time.