Baptised on 24 June 1616 in Dordrecht, he moved when young to Amsterdam where he was the pupil of Rembrandt. Copies by him of the master's works were being sold in the 1630s, and in 1640 he witnessed a Rembrandt document. Principally a portrait painter, he also painted (and etched) genre scenes in the Rembrandt manner. His earliest dated work is of 1642, and his many important commissions included historical works for the new Amsterdam Town Hall.
Kneller appears to have been his pupil in the late 1660s. Bol's last dated work is of 1669, the date of his second marriage to a rich widow. He was buried in Amsterdam on 24 Ju1y 1680.