Paul Bril was born into a family of artists active in Antwerp. Around 1580, he moved permanently to Rome, where he worked initially as a fresco painter in the Vatican. In the 1590s he began to paint small landscapes stylistically indebted to an earlier Flemish tradition. Gradually, he developed a more classicizing mode in which ruins, bucolic figures and a calmer, pastoral sentiment prevailed. At his death in 1626, Bril was renowned throughout Italy for his idealizing landscapes, and his work would have a profound influence on Claude Lorrain.