An old man sits in the center of this print, writing on a tablet and pointing a wand toward the stars. The snake biting its tail—a symbol of eternity—and the sundials suggest he is a personification of Time, controlling the existence and movement of all things. Suspended in a bubble—an emblem of impermanence—Mother Nature shoots creatures into the cosmos with a giant syringe. The allegory is based on a passage by the Roman poet Claudian (ca. 370–ca. 404 CE).
Golzius made this print by carving and printing three different blocks in registration—a line block containing most of the design and tone blocks in yellow and green. His prints were known throughout Europe, influencing both Giuseppe Cesari and Giambologna, whose works are exhibited nearby.