This panel was part of a polyptych painted between 1454 and 1469 for the high altar of the church of Sant’Agostino at Borgo San Sepolcro. By the seventeenth century the altarpiece, one of the major works by Piero della Francesca, had been dismembered and dispersed.
The careful depiction of the face and the sturdy figure of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino reveal a precise portraiture intention by the painter, who may have depicted the prior of the Augustinian monastery of Borgo San Sepolcro, mentioned in the contract for the commission of the altarpiece.
Saint Nicholas wears the black robe of the Augustinian order and the leather belt fastened with a metal buckle. His attribute is the star said to have appeared in the sky when he was born. The saint is profiled against a blue sky, and the space in which he stands is defined by a marble dais and balustrade.