Henrique Pousão did not limit his compositions to the mimetic naturalism and narrative in which Portuguese painting had become entrenched. The works completed in Rome still obey the academic precepts to which the painter was subject, however they do reveal a new understanding of painting. Pousão did not delay in revealing the defining characteristics of his painting that this work clearly expresses: forms expressed and delineated in dense areas of colours, juxtaposed in a game of chiaroscuro contrasts of light and shade.