Sustermans began to study painting in his native Antwerp then, from 1616 on, in Paris. In 1621, he moved to Florence, having been appointed painter to the Granducal Court by Cosimo II de' Medici (1590-1621). In this capacity, he produced numerous portraits of members of the Medici family. His reputation as a skilled portraitist won him commissions at many other European and Italian courts including Vienna, Parma, Piacenza, Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, and Rome. Besides those of Galileo, his most famous portraits are of Pandolfo Ricasoli, Vittoria della Rovere, Francesco de' Medici, and Geri della Rena. He also painted religious and historical subjects.