In the possession of the family of the present owner for at least a century.
The subject of this work is related to Ovid's Fasti (5:121–4), which tells how the infant Jupiter was suckled by the goat, Amalthea. It remains a matter of debate whether Berchem travelled to Italy, but a pronounced change in his post-1650 paintings toward more Italianate settings and an increased output of mythological subjects, accompanied by a more sensitive treatment of light, certainly suggests so; in any case, he was undoubtedly inspired by his contemporaries who returned to Haarlem from the south to work in the Italianate style.
The canvas has a firm relining and painted strips of wood, 2cm. wide, added to the upper and lower margins for framing purposes. The paint surface is dirty and the varnish is very discoloured. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals extremely little intervention and the painting is in overall very good condition. Offered in a painted wood frame with Greek key decoration with some losses. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."