This composition derives from an original by Jan Brueghel the Elder which is known in two versions: one dated 1612 in the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and another in a German private collection (see K. Ertz, catalogue of the exhibition, Brueghel-Brueghel, Lingen, 1998, p. 186-7, no. 57, illustrated, and fig. 57b.). The younger Brueghel took over the running of his father's studio after his death in 1625 and much of his output during the next decade was indebted to his father's compositions. The popularity of this particular subject is attested to by the existence of two further versions by Brueghel the Younger: one in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp; and another sold at Sotheby's, London, 6 December 2007, lot 149, £108,500 (see K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel der Jüngere, Freren, 1984, pp. 218-9, nos. 34 and 35, both illustrated).
This lot is sold with certificates from Dr. Walther Bernt (May 1979) and Professor Klaus Ertz (June 1988), both confirming the attribution to Jan Brueghel the Younger.