There is an inscription by feet of Ulysses which reads SEDET AETERNUM QUE SEDEBIT JFOELIX and by feet of Circe one that reads TVNC CEDE MALIS: SED CONTRA ADVENTIOR. I believe this to be the painting described in Francesco Maria del Monte's 1627 inventory as “Una tavola di mano di Bruculo nella quale vi e una Donna con un’Dardo con alcuni putti, et altre cose...” (Frommel 1971, 37). This work is Jan’s only early copper painting that is larger than the standard 25 x 35 size. The picture in Del Monte’s inventory is also larger than his other Jan Brueghels, listed as 2.25 palmi while the others are around 1.5 palmi.
The picture is based on a print by Giorgio Ghisi after (acc. Bartsch) Luca Penni, from 1561. There is another painting taking off from that same print filed at the RKD under Herri met de Bles.
A painting whose description precisely matches this work was reported in an 18th-century guidebook as hanging in the sacristy of the Milan Cathedral: see Brown, “Hans Rottenhammer in Rom,” 31. According to the 18th-century guidebook the copy was used as an ex-voto; it was sized to the original Ghisi print, like the Del Monte painting, but was on wood panel rather than copper. My hypothesis would be that this painting was a copy by Jan (probably still with Rottenhammer) of their particularly ambitious and complex commissioned painting, and was sold shortly after its execution to a buyer in Milan.