This painting of the "Allegory of Winter" is part of a four-piece series of the seasons. Please see:
Jost and then Freedberg suggested that Frans II Francken had participated in the execution of this picture, painting the pair of figures seated at the table, but Ertz, Werche, and now Neumeister all feel that Van Balen executed all the figures here as in the other three pictures in the series. True that this is a more complex collaboration than others in series, and more difficult to distinguish hands. I don't see why Van Balen couldn't have done main figures at table, though. On the other hand, the figures in the shadows behind the table, a group of musicians, seem entirely different from the other, Van Balenish figures. They look as if Brueghel could have painted them.
Copy of this whole series sold London (Phillips 20.vii.72) #s P33-36.