There is no clear date given to this painting and there are also several other related copies existing around Europe. There are some theories that this particular version is a copy of an original Hieronymus Bosch painting that was somehow lost to the world.
There are also similar copies in in Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch (on loan from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) and another in Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels.
Attribution has proven an issue to many members of the Northern Renaissance but it is particularly those who held skilled assistants in their studios where the lines of creation are most blurred. These problems were never deliberate, unlike the continual fraud that haunts the modern art market.
The lack of documentation from that time makes science the only real avenue of hope for uncovering any secrets in the future.
This disputed, but stunning, painting is owned by the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and this impressive gallery also holds work by the likes of Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Anthony van Dyck and Pieter de Hooch. There is also a significant impressionist collection with work from Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley and Gustave Caillebotte.
The style of this painting is unquestionably that of Northern Europe and much evidence has been provided in support for the claim of it being from Bosch. However, after all these years it is still unclear as to who produced it which is a crying shame for such a stunning painting that deserves respect - regardless of who actually painted it all those years ago.