The son of a sculptor from Stuttgart, he was born in either Prague or Heidelburg in 1639, but his age is recorded as forty eight on his death in 1684. At an early age he was taken to Arnhem where he studied with Hendrick Coster, and he completed his training at Deventer in the mid 1650s with ter Borch. In 1658/9 he set out by sea for Rome, but got no further than Bordeaux where he married in 1659 and where a son was born in 1661.
He then returned to Holland entering the painters' confraternity 'Pictura' at The Hague in October 1662. There are a number of genre subjects from his earlier years spent in The Hague (The Lace Maker), and he painted some history subjects and pastorals, but from c.1670 he concentrated on portraiture, a practice which earned him a considerable fortune. He is said to have declined an invitation from Charles II to come to England. He died at The Hague on 15 January 1684.