Roelandt Jacobsz. Savery was born in Kortrijk in Flanders in 1576. Because of religious riots, his family moved to Northern Netherlands when he was young.
According to Karel van Mander, he was taught by his brother Jacob, first in Haarlem in 1587 and then in Amsterdam when Jacob settled there in 1591.
Savery travelled to Prague in 1603/4, working for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, who commissioned him to make sketches of the Tyrol, and stayed there until about a year after Rudolf’s death in 1612.
After short stays in Amsterdam and Haarlem, Savery moved to Utrecht in 1619, where he died in 1639.
He was a painter of alpine scenery and fantastical landscapes; he was also an animal painter. His favourite subjects were the Garden of Eden and Orpheus.