William Willet studied with the well-known American painter William Merritt Chase and worked as a designer for John La Farge before establishing his own stained glass studio. Assisted by his wife, Anne Lee, Willet worked in a neo-Gothic style that incorporated Pre-Raphaelite motifs. These stylistic motifs were inspired by 19th-century paintings and stained glass by English artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. The two windows are inscribed with verses from La vita nuova (The new life), completed about 1293 by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). La vita nuova chronicles Dante’s passionate relationship with the legendary Beatrice, to whom Dante dedicated most of his life. The verses, in English, were taken from a translation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Willet made this pair of windows as part of a proposal for a large stained glass commission.