For a discussion of the broader theme of the Netherlandish proverbs, and these roundel depictions of them, in Brueghel's oeuvre, see the note to lot 61. As discussed by Klaus Ertz in his catalogue rasionné of the artist's work (op. cit, pp. 151-6), the underlying meaning of the present composition remains as-yet unknown, but is likely to derive from a lost composition of the artist's father, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Ertz listed seven fully accepted works in his catalogue, and two further (including the present picture) that he records following Marlier's inclusion of them in his catalogue, but on which, not having seen them himself, he does not comment. The reappearance of this picture on the market is therefore the first time for over forty years that it has been seen in public and that its autograph status can thus be confirmed.