This drawing and the following lot are taken from Paulus Potter's The Life of the Hunter, now in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (A. Walsh et al., Paulus Potter, Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, exhib. cat., The Hague, Mauritshuis, 1994, no. 24). The painting was in the 18th Century in the collection of his patron the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel, and Tischbein would have had easy access to the collection as his elder brother Johann Heinrich was director of the Kassel picture gallery. The painting was looted by the French in 1806, giving a terminus ante quem for this group of drawings.
Potter's painting was described by Goethe as 'a poem in paint' (quoted in A. Walsh, op. cit., p. 127). The subject was chosen by Potter as an allegory of the political situation in the Dutch Republic in the 1650s, when the States were becoming restless at the military ambitions of the young Stadtholder Prince Willem II.