In a letter of 6 September 1956 (available to the purchaser) Ludwig Burchard wrote of this picture that '... when it was shown to me, [it] came as a complete surprise. It is in my opinion entirely by Rubens's own hand ...'; Professor Michael Jaffé in a letter of 12 May 1992 (also available to the purchaser) believed it to be an autograph version.
The original (or a copy of it) was known to the Dutch poetess Anna Roemers Visscher, who wrote a poem addressed to Rubens as she herself made a copy. This poem is dated 1621 (see M. Rooses, L'Oeuvre de P.P. Rubens, I, 1886, under no. 187). The whereabouts of the original were not known to Rooses, and the picture still remains lost. Burchard, in his letter, refers to 'the many surviving copies'. In view of this, it seems best to catalogue the present work as from the studio of the master.