Balen's œuvre shows biblical and mythological subjects, painted on small or medium-sized panels of wood or copper. His frequent collaboration with other artists was typical, due to specialism in Dutch painting.
This woodland bathing scene shows Diana, goddess of the hunt, sitting on a rock surrounded by her attendants, at a cleansing ritual. Female figures at their toilet frequently offer an attractive motif for nude painting – the actual subject of this work. Delicate nuances of pink, orange, blue, ochre and grey bring out the feminine curves in baroque opulence. A focal point is Diana's loose vermilion drapery. Presented like a picture within a picture are still-life motifs showing the kill with hounds (foreground left) and the beauty equipment lying on the stone (right).
It may well be that this painting is a joint work by three artists; the landscape is attributed to Jan Brueghel the Elder, the animals to Frans Snyders and the nudes to Hendrik van Balen.