This miniature was probably part of the set of drawings bound in four volumes, formerly in the collection of the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague and now in the Rosenwald Collection, the National Gallery of Art in Washington (T. da Costa Kauffmann, Drawings from the Holy Roman Empire, 1540-1680, exhib. cat., The Art Museum, Princeton University and elsewhere, 1982, no. 56). The volumes contain 277 drawings of roughly the same size as this one, each with compositions in inscribed ovals. The four books are divided according to the four elements. A few sheets were romoved from these albums and are now in Berlin, Weimar, Prague and elsewhere.
The present drawing was probably one of a set depicting the four continents or the four elements.