The picture is attributed to the late-Renaissance, early-baroque painter Aurelio Lomi and depicts the circumcision of the Christ child.
It was recorded in the 1671 Petworth picture list and was almost certainly owned by Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland (1602-68).
The 10th Earl was a keen art collector and patron. He had collections of pictures at all of his principal southern English houses – Syon Park in Middlesex, Northumberland House in London, and Petworth.
Later generations also admired this picture. George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), the patron of Turner, hung it among his ‘modern’ paintings at Petworth.
This acquisition was made possible by a substantial contribution from a fund set up by the late Hon. Simon Sainsbury and by other gifts and bequests to Petworth and to the National Trust generally.
The picture will receive conservation treatment before going on display at Petworth.