Baptised on 11 November 1579 in Antwerp, where he was the pupil of Pieter Brueghel II in 1593 and of H. van Balen I. A master of the Antwerp guild in 1602, he travelled in Italy 1608-9, visiting Rome and working in Milan for Cardinal Archbishop Borromeo.
By July 1609 he was back in Antwerp, where in he married the sister of Cornelis de Vos. He collaborated with Rubens, one of whose executors he became, and his portrait was painted by van Dyck c. 1620 (Frick Collection). In 1619 he was made a member of the Guild of Romanists, and in 1629 he was elected dean.
One of the earliest specialist animaliers, he brought a baroque grandeur to still-life painting. He died in Antwerp on 19 August 1657.