Hendrick Goltzius created this drawing as one of many "fantasy" portraits that he made after 1600. Because he drew the portrait in preparation for a woodcut, he chose his technique accordingly, creating shading and modeling with lines that could be carved in relief in a block of wood.
Goltzius had an uncanny talent of emulating the styles of the great masters, which he often displayed in these imaginary portraits. Here he took up Lucas van Leyden's manner, particularly in the flowing hatching of the fur collar and the rounded modeling of the fingers. Goltzius also gave pronounced emphasis to feathers, hair, and fur, aspects of his drawing that epitomized the styles of past Northern European masters. This imaginary portrait seems so lifelike and individualized that earlier scholars identified it with a specific person.