Cornelis van Poelenburch was born in Utrecht where he studied under the Mannerist painter Abraham Bloemart. Around 1617 he travelled to Rome to work and study, which was to have a lasting effect on his art. There, he was a founding member of a society of Netherlandish artists working in Rome, who called themselves the ‘schildersbent’. Poelenburch became one of the leading northern painters of Italianate landscapes, often incorporating mythological or classical themes and populated by small nudes. Following his return to Utrecht from Italy he became one of the city’s leading artists. His reputation earned him the admiration and patronage of the King of England, whom he worked for from 1638-1641. After this time he remained in Utrecht.