The younger brother of the painter Jan van Uyttenbroeck (c. 1581-1651), who was accepted into the Guild of St Luke in The Hague in 1614, Moses van Uyttenbroeck is best known for his pastoral scenes, frequently depicting themes from the Old Testament and Classical mythology, the latter usually based on Ovid's metamorphoses. Representations of bacchanalia with music, dancing and erotic scenes are particularly prevalent.
Moses' earliest known work is the dated etching of Peter Healing the Lame Man at the Door of the Temple of 1615; although still slightly awkward in the way it is executed, it shows the influence of the Amsterdam painter Pieter Lastman. In 1620, six years after his brother, Moses himself entered the Guild of St Luke, The Hague, of which he was dean in 1627 and possibly again in 1633. Probably dating from about the time he joined the guild is what is considered to be his earliest painting (Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts), which depicts a spacious, very dramatic landscape with a riverbank in the foreground, a large, tree-covered range of hills and small figures. Van Uyttenbroeck subsequently developed his compositional approach, building up his pictures from landscape elements placed close to one another rather in the manner of a stage set, often using boulders, running or still water and tall plants. Hills or trees delimit the pictures on on one or both sides, and the backgrounds consist of gentler, less precipitous wooded countryside, as in the present work.
During his lifetime van Uyttenbroeck was highly regarded: Constantijn Huygens mentioned him with approval in his autobiography, and Prince Frederick Henry bought his paintings and involved him in the decoration of Honselaarsdijk. Dirk Dalens (d. 1676) was his pupil, as probably was his son Matheus van Uyttenbroeck, also an artist.