The Feast of the Gods is one of Sebastiaen Vrancx's earliest known paintings. It appears to be signed and dated 1596, near the time that Vrancx traveled to Italy, where he spent several years working alongside other Netherlandish artists such as Paul Bril. The setting for The Feast of the Gods a contemporary rather than an antique one, and the gods and goddesses dine and dance in the open air and sit at a table in a garlanded portico, wearing various degrees of 'antique' dress. A rack of gold and silver objects worthy of any fine Antwerp interior appears behind the table, while a gentleman horseback makes his way through the valley at the lower left. The enormous stylized tree that dominates the landscape and the conspicuous use of aerial perspective are characteristic of Vrancx's early works and create the effect of a landscape conceived in imagination rather than by observation.
Vrancx's earliest known work is a drawing of scrollwork decorations dated 1594 (Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt). According to van Mander, he studied with Adam van Noort in the early 1590s and documents indicate that he joined the Antwerp rhetoricians' chamber in 1594, becoming a prolific author of farces, comedies, and tragedies. Vrancx traveled to Italy in 1596 or 1597 and was back in Antwerp by 1600, when he joined the city's Guild of St. Luke. Vrancx was also a member of the Society of Romanists, together with Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrick van Balen, and often collaborated with them in as well as with Josse de Momper, David Vinckboons and others. While Vrancx painted landscapes and genre scenes throughout his career, he is best known for battles and scenes of village plunder such as Attack on a Convoy of 1616 in the Royal collection at Windsor Castle.