Mánes began work on this historical subject from the life of the Italian Renaissance poet already in 1842, but he only finished it during his private studies in Munich in 1846. In the spring of that year Mánes exhibited the painting at the exhibition of the Munich Kunsverein, where it was bought for 660 guldens by the Prague artists' association Krasoumná jednota. His model for the fictitious meeting of Petrarch and Laura was an 1811 illustration - Gretchen (Margaret) in Church - for the first volume of Goethe's Faust by the well-known German Nazarene painter Peter von Cornelius (1783-1867). Mánes's first large history painting already shows signs of his emotional approach to works of art. The elegant academic form does not fully conceal the delicately sensitive concept of the scene. There exist many preparatory sketches in oil, which show not only the gradual changes in composition, but also the various participants in the story.