Born in December 1617 at Zwolle, where he first studied under his father. He visited Amsterdam in 1632 and moved to Haarlem in 1634 to study under the landscape painter P. de Molijn (1595-1661). He entered the Haarlem guild in 1635, in which year he visited London to work with his uncle, the copper engraver Robert van Voerst, on whose death in 1636 he returned to Zwolle.
By 1640 it appears he had travelled in Italy, Spain, France and the Southern Netherlands. He worked in Amsterdam and Haarlem before setting out in 1645 for Münster where he painted the delegates negotiating the Treaty of Münster, signed in 1648. He was in Amsterdam and Zwolle in 1648, The Hague in 1649, Kampen in 1650 and Delft in 1653. He married in 1654 and settled in Deventer.
After his wife's death he made trips to Amsterdam in 1674 and to The Hague and Haarlem in 1675. He died in Deventer on 8 December 1681. His earlier work showed guardroom scenes; he produced small-scale portraits from the 1640s, but his best-known works are the sophisticated genre scenes he developed in the 1650s.