Baptised on 20 December 1629 in Rotterdam, the son of a bricklayer. He studied under Berchem, and with Jacob Ochtervelt, i.e. in Haarlem in the late 1640s. He was in Delft by 1652 and in 1653 was working as a servant and painter for the linen-merchant Justus de la Grange.
At his betrothal in 1654, he was said to be resident in Rotterdam, but he became a member of the Delft guild in 1655 and remained there until 1660/1, when he moved to Amsterdam. His early works are principally scenes of soldiers in stables and taverns, but from the mid 1650s, alongside Vermeer, he turned to carefully composed domestic scenes. He also painted some family portraits. After c. 1670 his work tends to become more stylized and from the late 1670s there is a marked deterioration in quality.
He died in an insane asylum at Amsterdam and was buried on 24 March 1684.