The first cycle, begun in 1602, 26 years after his death, is the larger of the two- I fatti della vita del beato Carlo (The Facts of the Life of Blessed Charles). It consists of 28 paintings depicting his life, concentrating upon his tenure as Archbishop of Milan. Work on this cycle continued into the late 1700s. The first twenty large canvases were painted by Il Cerano (4 paintings), Giovanni Mauro della Rovere (Il Fiammenghino) (3), Il Duchino (7), Procaccini (1), Carlo Buzzi (2), Domenico Pellegrini (1), and Morazzone. The paintings are all tempera on canvas.
The second cycle, I miracoli di San Carlo (The Miracles of St. Charles) consists of 24 paintings of his miraculous works and healings. These paintings are smaller than the first set, measuring approximately 2.4 x 4.4 m. They were all painted between December, 1609 and November 1, 1610 when St. Charles was canonized. These paintings were displayed together with the Life cycle for the first time on November 4, 1610 in the Duomo of Milan. The paintings of his miracles could not be displayed until he had been declared a Saint.