This picture belongs to a series of Apostles that Dr. Hans Vlieghe recognised as by Artus Wolffort in a reconstruction of the artist's work in 1977 ('Zwischen van Veen und Rubens: Artus Wolffort (1581-1641) ein vergessener Antwerpener Maler', Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, XXXIX, 1977, pp. 193-123). He identified three pictures from the series (all are numbered on the stone plaque along the lower edge): Saint Andrew, II, sold at Sotheby's, New York, 4 June 1987, lot 41 ($71,500); Saint Matthew, VIII, private collection, Brussels; Saint Simon, X, with Gerda Bassenge, Berlin, 1985. Julius Held added Saint Bartholomew (private collection, London) to this group in 1981 (J.S. Held, 'Noch Einmal Artus Wolffort', Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, XLII, 1981, pp. 143-6). A fifth picture of this group, Saint James the Less, XI is in a private collection, Switzerland. It has been suggested that a possible sixth picture of the series, Saint Matthias, XII (the apostle recorded in Acts I as having been chosen to replace Judas), in a private collection, could be by another hand.
Wolffort's Antwerp activity began in 1616, and Vlieghe dates the series to this time. Held, on the other hand, suggests circa 1620-5, based largely on the dating of an unfinished male portrait lying underneath the Saint Andrew which is visible only under X-ray (see J.S. Held, op. cit., fig. 3). Wolffort evidently executed several other series, not only of the Apostles, but of other subjects such as the Fathers of the Church as well. For a full discussion, see Vlieghe and Held, loc. cit..
At the lower edge of each painting appears a trompe l'oeil stone cartouche inscribed with the article of the Creed usually associated with that apostle's usual place in the sequence. One may compare these paintings, for instance, with Hendrick Goltzius' series of prints where the sequence and articles are identical. The engraving of Saint James the Less also depicts the saint reading in the wilderness with a fuller's staff resting against the cave wall.