Baptised on 10 December 1610 in Haarlem, where he lived all his life. Houbraken said he studied under Hals, c.1627, where one of his fellow pupils would have been Brouwer, whose works may have influenced him.
He had joined the Haarlem guild by 1634 and was elected a hoofdman in 1647 and 1661 and dean in 1662. He was a wealthy man when he died in Haarlem on 27 April 1685. He specialised throughout his life in painting peasant genre scenes and he also produced a number of etchings and many water-colours. Steen and his brother Isack were amongst his pupils.