The seated man in the centre wearing the Cross of the Order of Santiago, was formerly thought to be intended as a portrait of Velàzquez writing, possibly in connection with his court duties. It has recently been proposed more convincingly that this painting is a portrait sketch of the Count of Santisteban with his daughter. The Count was Viceroy of Naples between 1687 and 1695.
Giordano probably painted this picture when he was in Spain. The significance of the composition is unclear: Giordano, who depicts himself as the figure in the lower right, seems either to point out the scene in the upper portion of the picture or else to be indicating that it is painted by himself.