In a continuous narrative that moves from right to left, Taddeo Zuccaro brings a letter of introduction to his cousin, the painter Francesco il Sant'Angelo, who worked in the studio of painter Perino del Vaga. Brusquely dismissed by his relation, Taddeo leaves in tears but soon catches sight of a large frescoed facade by one of the most admired painters of the day, Polidoro da Caravaggio. At the back of the drawing, the small figure of Taddeo crouches down in the middle of the piazza to sketch the facade. The building that he sketches has now been destroyed, but scholars have identified the palazzo.
Giorgio Vasari, the Renaissance author and painter, included this story in his Lives of Painters, Sculptors and Architects , noting that: "In Rome he had a hard time at first, being friendless and lonely. The one person he did know treated him more unkindly than anyone else, for when he humbly approached Francesco il Sant'Angelo, a journeyman artist employed by Perino del Vaga for grotesque decoration, who was a relation, Francesco, behaving as relations often do, gave him neither practical help nor even advice, but turned him harshly away."