In 1519 Mostaert was appointed court painter at Malines to Margaret of Austria, Governess of the Netherlands. He produced for her mainly portraits of the royal family. However, most of his known pictures are of lesser members of the Dutch nobility, as is probably this portrait.
He favoured a reserved, dignified portrait style. He was also a good landscape painter, rendering his backgrounds in minute detail. In the background of this piece appears the conversion of St Hubert, who, while hunting on a holy day saw a stag with a crucifix between its horns. The young man in the painting may have been called Hubert.