Considered to be by Gerrit Dou since the beginning of the last century, the present panel was first published as the work of Willem de Porter by Professor Werner Sumowski in 1983 (loc. cit). This picture can be regarded as one of the finest examples of de Poorter's output from the 1630/40s when he was working most closely under the influence of Rembrandt and Gerrit Dou.
Although there is no documentation to support the assumption, it seems highly probable, judging by the number of small-scale biblical and history paintings produced by the artist in the 1630s, that de Poorter received his training in the Leiden workshop of Rembrandt alongside Gerrit Dou. The present panel is indebted to Rembrandt's picture of the same subject, of 1636, the surviving fragment of which is in the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Its original landscape format is known through an old copy in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick, and their compositions are fundamentally the same: the figure group positioned at a window on the left side, still life elements in the lower corners and a recession into space in the centre. The level of sophistication displayed in the present picture through its dramatic Rembrandtesque lighting and meticulous Dou-like handling would suggest a date of circa 1640.