Juan Van der Hamen y Leon was, during his short lifetime, among the most illustrious painters active in Madrid. The son of Juan Van der Hamen, a man of means and noble birth, the younger man was brought up in confortable circumstances with the advantages of education and a stimulating intellectual environment. The first record of his activity as a painter is found in the accounts of the royal household of El Pardo in September 1619 when he was paid 100 reales for a fruit and game piece. He made a specialty of still lifes that included expensive vessels and luxurious objects and appealed to the courtly taste of affluent collectors.
Dr. William B. Jordan accepts the present painting as an autograph work by Van der Hamen on the basis of a transparency, noting that the ormolu fruit bowl depicted in this composition was one of the most popular objects most often depicted by the artist. Furthermore, Dr. Jordan suggests a date of circa 1621 when Juan Van der Hamen was working on several canvases similar in size, subject, and composition, also signed with initials rather than his full name.