This is a fragment of a much larger altarpiece, originally painted for the church of San Francesco at Lendinara, in north Italy. Probably executed in the 1560s, the Petrobelli altarpiece was cut down and sold in the 1790s, when the lion and the remains of St. Michael (the hand with the scales of justice, as well as the hand of the devil on whom he treads) were overpainted. These elements resurfaced when the painting was cleaned in the 1940s.
The top section of the altarpiece, now in Ottawa, shows the dead Christ supported by angels, before whom the donor Girolamo Petrobelli, depicted here, kneels. He is blessed by his patron saint, St. Jerome. Other fragments survive in Edinburgh (St. Anthony Abbot and Antonio Petrobelli, Girolamo's cousin) and Austin, TX (Head of St. Michael).