The number of versions by Pieter Brueghel the Younger of his father's picture of 1566 at Budapest attest the popularity of the composition in an age when the subject had not only lost its political implications but ran contrary to the religious current of the time. As Jacqueline Folie has pointed out (in the catalogue of the exhibition, Bruegel. Une dynastie de peintres, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 18 Sept.-18 Nov. 1980, p. 143), it provided an opportunity for a representation of humanity in all its diversity of race, class, temperament and attitude. Pieter Brueghel the Younger's versions, of which dated examples are known from 1601, 1604 (two) and 1620 (two), are so faithful to the prototype that they must have been painted directly from it and it thus seems highly likely that the picture now in Budapest is that recorded between 1633 and 1650 in the collection of the Archduchess Isabella in Brussels.
Georges Marlier records that Dr. Gustav Glück considered the present painting one of the best versions