This signed painting repeats the composition of the central painting of the altarpiece in the Capilla de San José in Toledo.
A concentration on depictions of St Joseph in Spain began with an emphasis on his worship by Theresa of Ávila (1515-1582; canonized in 1622), who would become Spain's national saint. El Greco's choice of an elongated figure against a background of agitated sky would subsequently be extended to the depiction of other figures.
The Erythraean and Cumaean Sibyls are related to the Annunciation through their prophecies. The text on the floating ribbon refers to St Augustine. The Latin name of the Sibyl is indicated on the frame.