Drost was a pupil of Rembrandt (q.v.), possibly in or shortly before 1650. An early etching, signed and dated 1652, depicts the artist as a young man drawing. A Portrait of a Man (New York, Metropolitan Museum) and Portrait of a Woman (The Hague, Bredius Museum), his earliest dated pictures, were painted the following year. The former is signed Wilhelmus Drost, implying the artist was of German descent. His best known painting, Bathsheba (Paris, Louvre), signed and dated 1654, is remarkable for its subtle flesh tones and for the rendering of contrasting textures of white linen and fur drapery. His subsequent signed works reveal his ability to paint in the broad bravura manner associated with the Rembrandt school, and in the new polished style adopted by artists such as Dou and Maes (qq.v.). In about 1655 he travelled to Italy where he died. The reconstruction of his oeuvre is problematic.