Jacob Adriaensz. Backer was born in the Frisian port town of Harlingen, and moved to the provincial capital of Leeuwarden, where he embarked on his artistic training under the history painter and fellow Mennonite Lambert Jacobsz. He was joined there by Govert Flinck, and around 1632 Backer went to Amsterdam, Flinck to study under Rembrandt, the older Backer to establish an independent practice. Backer quickly adopted a fashionably Rembrandtesque style, but around 1640 he himself in turn sparked a new trend by assimilating into his style Rubenesque elements including a light palette, dynamic movement, and smooth idealizing forms. Granida and Daifilo is a good example of the new style. The theme draws from Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft’s play Granida: the Persian princess Granida loses her hunting party in the woods, and encounters a shepherd pair. When she complains of the heat, Daifilo offers her water in a shell. Smitten, he abandons his companion Dorilea to pursue true love. The amorous theme and pastoral setting accorded well with the courtly aspirations of Backer’s new style. He enjoyed great success, including patronage of the House of Orange, before his early death in 1651.