Jordaens was a follower of Rubens, and the leading Flemish painter after the death of Rubens and Van Dyck. Although he continued to borrow from Rubens, his work from 1620 to 1635 is marked by greater realism and exuberance. His late works are both more restrained and cooler in colour.
Jordaens was born in Antwerp and trained by Adam van Noort. Rubens, after his return from Italy in 1608, was of great importance for the development of Jordaens's style. Rubens enrolled Jordaens as one of the painters helping him carry out his late commissions for the Spanish Crown in 1636-7.
Jordaens became internationally famous after Rubens's death in 1640; he was employed by Queen Christina of Sweden, by members of the House of Orange, and by the Burgomasters of Amsterdam for the decoration of the Town Hall. In 1639-40 he worked for Charles I of England.
In later years he joined a Calvinist community, and his style became more restrained and classicising.