The sitter was Carlo Cerri (1611 - 1690), Dean of the supreme ecclesiastical tribunal, or 'Rota'. He was created Cardinal, Bishop of Ferrara and Legate of Urbino on 29 November 1669 by Pope Clement IX. The portrait was probably painted soon after this date, but before 1679, when Clouwet, who engraved the portrait, died. The inscription on the books refers to Cerri's most important work, the 'Decisiones Rotae' (Judgements of the Rota).
The painting is in superb condition and is unlined.