Although little is known of the life of Jan Swart van Groeningen, his numerous drawings suggest the existence of a prolific workshop.
He was a stained glass designer (Van Mander, Schilder-boeck , 1603-1604, fol. 227v), and the present drawing may relate to one of those designs. Van Mander also noted that Swart traveled to Italy, and that the trip had a great influence on his art. Swart's Italianate figure types with elongated proportions and complex poses are recognizable in the present sheet, whereas the landscape remains in the style of Northern artists such as Jan van Scorel.