The present lot is a work of collaboration, in which the animals, musical instruments and other accessories are in all probability the work of Jan Brueghel II. The motif of swans and Mount Helicon - the home of the Muses, with the Hippocrene, the sacred spring struck by the hoof of Pegasus - the landscape and the palatial setting, with the music party in the far gallery is by another hand (or hands), as is the personification of Hearing herself and the amoretto.
The personification derives from that by Rubens working in collaboration with Jan Brueghel I in The Sense of Hearing, one of the series of the Five Senses in the Prado (nos. 1394-98). There the deer and amoretto are differently placed, but were also probably adapted in the present lot.
Reproductions of two other versions are in the Witt Library; these are recorded as in the Marqués de Viana collection, Madrid, in 1930, and in an anonymous sale, Fischer, Lucerne, 24-28 November 1964. A third version is known in a private Belgian collection. Finally a variant with the same setting, but with the personification differently posed and with two amoretti was offered in these Rooms, 7 April 1995, lot 18. This was a work of collaboration between Abraham Willemsens (responsible for the figures) and Jan van Kessel I; there the disposition of the animals and objects is much the same as in the present lot.