Born in Oudenarde where he probably studied with his father, a tapestry designer. He came to Holland c. 1621 and is recorded in Amsterdam in 1625 and 1626. Houbraken said he was born in Haarlem where he studied with Hals; in 1626 he certainly belonged to De Wijngaertranken, a Haarlem chamber of rhetoric to which Hals also belonged, and in 1627 he was described as a famous painter of Haarlem.
In 1631-2 he had moved to Antwerp and van Dyck, included him in a series of portraits of well-known artists, scholars and statesmen. In 1632 he was in debt and the following year he was imprisoned in Antwerp. Released by 1634, he was buried in Antwerp on 1February 1638. Seventeen of his works were owned by Rubens and six by Rembrandt. His vigorous peasant genre scenes certainly affected the development of Isack and Adriaen van Ostade, in Haarlem.