Born in 1643 at Made near Dordrecht, the son of a priest. By 1654 his family had moved to Dordrecht where, according to Houbraken (himself a pupil of Schalcken), he served his apprenticeship with Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-73) before moving c.1662 to Leiden to become a pupil of Dou. By 1665 he was back in Dordrecht where he is recorded at intervals until 1691.
In that year, although apparently still a resident of Dordrecht, he joined the painters' confraternity 'Pictura' in The Hague. In 1692 he went to England, where he worked mainly as a portrait painter for the court at Windsor until 1697/8. He was back in The Hague by 1698 and, apart from a visit to Düsseldorf c. 1703 to work for the Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm, he remained there until his death on 13 November 1706.
His works, which are frequently illuminated by candle-light, include genre scenes, portraits and some history subjects; he also made a few etchings.