Reznicek dates this to circa 1588 noting that the figure of Phaeton may be compared to that in Cornelis van Haarlem's engraving after Goltzius dated 1588 (W.L. Strauss, Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617; The Complete Engravings and Woodcuts, New York, 1977, no. 251).
The present lot is part of a group of drawings by Goltzius of Ovid's Metamorphoses engraved in reverse in the second of three series incorporating 52 prints, published in 1589-90 by Robert Willemsz. de Baudous (circa 1575-circa 1644).
Only seven other drawings for the series all of comparable size and technique, are known: Mercury and Argus in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon; Jupiter and Phoebus in the Prentenkabinet, Leiden; Cadmus in Delphi, Cadmus' Companions killed by the Dragon, Cadmus slaying the Dragon and Apollo and Leucothea in the Kunsthalle, Bremen and Callisto's Pregnancy revealed to Diana in the Muzeum Pomorskie, Danzig (E.K.J. Reznicek, Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltizus, Utrecht, 1961, nos. K99-104 and K100a, figs, 199-24 and 451).
Reznicek further notes the influence of the present composition referring to Rubens' Fall of Phaeton of circa 1606 that he made in Italy (J. Müller Hofstede, Peter Paulus Rubens, Cologne, 1977, no. 7) in which the horse seen from behind in the present lot reappears.
Other Gods shown here include Jupiter holding the Thunderbolt above Phaeton and his chariot in the upper left, Atlas to the right. In the foreground is the desparate Goddess of Earth, Neptune in the sea beyond