This allegory of music depicts a lady sitting by a table holding a lute in her right hand and grabbing a slice of bread that lies on the table with her left. In the background is a scene with drunkened soldiers wearing Roman costumes. This type of allegorical motifs was a popular subject during the renaissance and the baroque, corresponding well with the ideas of symbolism and hidden meanings.
This painting possibly once belonged to the collection of Rudolf II of Habsburg in Prague, who was a great admirer of Floris and owned several works by him. If so, it was later taken as war booty and sent to Sweden after the looting of the Kunstkammer by the Swedish army in 1648. It is possible that it corresponds to the one refered to as Ein musica vom Flores (lot 845) in the inventory of the imperial collection 1621. This painting is the same in composition as the one also entitled Allegory of music attributed to Jacob de Backer (sold at Christie’s, London, 11 December 2002)