Godfrey Kneller was born under the name Gottfried Kniller in Lübeck in 1646. In the 1660s he studied in Amsterdam with both Ferdinand Bol and Rembrandt. Upon receiving a commission, Kneller traveled to England around 1675 where he stayed, becoming known as a portrait painter. He achieved success as a court painter, rising to the rank of Principal Painter under the reign of William and Mary of Orange. Conversion of Saul is a late work of Kneller’s and is rare for its religious subject matter. It is the only religious subject known from this period in the artist’s career. With its loose handling of paint and soft colours, this painting demonstrates the influence of Kneller’s visit to Brussels in 1697, where he was exposed first hand to the work of Rubens, and foreshadows generally the rise of the Rococo in Europe.