Part of a series of drawings depicting rulers of Bavaria, once bound in a manuscript, which included portraits of sixty-two princes on thirty sheets, and which was last recorded when it was sold in 1935. Another drawing from the series, showing Louis I of Bavaria, is in the Stadtmuseum, Linz, while three sheets are in the Berliner Kupferstichkabinett and one in the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (E. Pokorny, Graphische Sammlung Stadtmuseum Linz: Deutsche und niederländische Zeichnungen, 16. und Frühes 17. Jahrhundert, Linz, 1998, no. 2). These drawings are copies after a mid-15th-Century frieze showing the genealogy of the Bavarian rulers, two fragments of which are now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (inv. MA 4252). In the frieze the figures are accompanied by German verses, which do not appear on the group of drawings associated with the manuscript, but which do appear on a copy of the frieze, showing twelve adjacent rulers, in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (F. Lugt, Bibliothèque Nationale: Inventaire Général des Dessins des Ecoles du Nord, Paris, 1936, pp. 13-14, no. 28, pl. XVI).
The rulers depicted in the present drawing are the earliest Bavarian princes, the legendary Bavarus (on the left, dressed in a surcoat which bears the blue-and-white oblique fusils of the Bavarian coat of arms) and his equally legendary successor Norix. According to the court historians of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, the latter was the founder of Nuremberg (C.S. Wood, 'Maximilian I as archeologist', Renaissance Quarterly, 58, no. 4, 2005, pp. 1128-74).