The small scale of the present drawing suggests that it was made during Hollar's residence in Cologne in 1631-36. During this period he drew a large number of views along the Rhine and Upper Danube which he later made into etchings. In 1636 Hollar was hired by Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, to record his ill-fated embassy to the Emperor Ferdinand II. It is possible that the present drawing and the related print may have been made on this journey since the three barges closely resemble the three vessels that accompanied Lord Arundel on the Danube, seen for example in the series of fully worked-up pen and wash drawings at Chatsworth (M. Jaffé, The Devonshire Collection of Northern European Drawings, IV, German, English and Spanish Artists, Turin, 2002, nos. 1561-1565). Lord Arundel and his party, attended by Hollar, left Cologne on 28 April 1636 and travelled up the Rhine and Main to Frankfurt, from where they went overland to Regensburg. There they boarded their barges on the final stage of the journey down the Danube to the Emperor's court at Linz. A worked-up panorama of Regensburg, made on the journey, is at Chatsworth, (M. Jaffé, op. cit., no. 1560).