Denijs van Alsloot was born in Mechelen, the son of a tapestry maker. He was first recorded in the register of the Brussels painters’ guild in 1599, by which time he was already a free master and had a pupil. From that year, Van Alsloot also worked for the Grand Duke and Duchess Albrecht and Isabella, whose service he officially entered in 1606. We currently know of a small oeuvre of around thirty paintings and a small number of drawings by Van Alsloot. His dated works cover the period between 1608 and 1620.
The signature D. ab Alsloot S.A. Pic: 1608 is a reference to his status as court painter: S.A. stands for Son Altesse, or His Highness. This painting was made on the completion of extensive renovations to the Tervuren hunting lodge. The castle in the background is therefore a portrait of this lodge, which was situated outside Brussels in the Zoniënwoud forest. The artist accentuated the building by placing it in full sunlight, completely surrounded by dark woodland passages. The fox hunt is in full swing. Although the woodland scene that Van Alsloot painted looks very realistic, it is actually a fantasy landscape that was designed in his studio.