Although there is no definite information about Berents, he may be identified with the former owner of a book in the library of Christiaan Kramm (1797-1875). In his artist's lexicon Kramm records 'Ik ben in het bezit van een zeer lijvig boekdeel in kl.8 /o. Ms., waar buiten op den perkamenten band geschreven staat: Handboek van den Heer Jacob Bherens, Miniatuur-schilder en Mathematicus, ter gedagtenis te bewaren. 1747. 'S Haage. Het bevat legio aantekeningen van gemengden aard, doch, voornamelijk, over het bereiden en gebruiken van de water- en miniatuurverwen.' (De levens en werken der Hollandsche en Vlaamsche kunstschilders, beeldhouwers, graveurs en bouwmeesters, I, Amsterdam, 1857, pp. 90-1). A previous owner of the book had noted further details about the artist, who was apparently born in Hamburg in 1679, and trained as a draughtsman and miniaturist. Berents had a long military career before becoming a teacher in engineering, architecture and perspective. This perhaps led to his proud self-description as Mathematicus.
Three drawings by Berents, perhaps including the present drawing, were with Gallery A. van der Meer, Amsterdam, in 1973. One of these was dated 1723, while another, a Winter Scene, was afterwards in the Klaver Collection (Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 10 May 1994, lot 30). A further drawing with a near identical signature and inscription but dated 1663 does however cast doubt on the connection with Kramm's artist (sold in these Rooms, 8 November 2000, lot 110).