The painting depicts a notorious incident that occurred during the Eighty Years War after Bréauté, a French nobleman in the service of Prince Maurits of Orange, had insulted the Lord of Grobbendonck, the Governor of the pro-Spanish city of s'Hertogenbosch. A duel between the two was subsequently arranged and each arrived with twenty horsemen (the incident is also known as 'The Battle of the Forty'). However, it was soon discovered that Grobbendonck had sent his Lieutenant, Leckerbeetje, in his place. Enraged, Bréauté immediately killed him, whereupon a violent battle ensued, in which the Frenchman was eventually defeated and killed.
Several versions of this composition are known, none of which are accepted as autograph by Joost vander Auwera and Laurijssen. This work is closely comparable with the version offered in these Rooms, 13 December 1996, lot 43, as 'Attributed to Vrancx'.