These panels, along with others now lost, were probably once incorporated into the walls of a distinguished private residence. They correspond closely in style to similar panels in the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris; one is painted with precisely the same motifs as those on a panel that still remains in one of the king's state rooms (now the library).
Charles Le Brun was responsible for the decoration of Vaux-le-Vicomte, the grand château built for Nicolas Fouquet, minister of finance in the early years of the reign of Louis XIV. The panels were designed in the elaborate late Baroque style developed by Le Brun for interiors in the mid-1600s. The four largest panels contain oval paintings in grisaille of seated women in classical dress representing the four Cardinal Virtues: Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice.