Born on 25 January 1615 at Cleves. According to Houbraken he studied under Lambert Jacobsz in Leeuwarden before studying with Rembrandt in Amsterdam. He appears to have worked in Rembrandt's studio c. 1633-4 and throughout the 1630s his work (tronies, landscapes and histories, Landscape with a Coach) was strongly influenced by the master. He then imitated his master's style so closely that his works were sometimes mistaken for Rembrandt's. He subsequently became an established portrait painter and three of his large militia group portraits, dated between 1645 and 1648, are in the Rijksmuseum.
His aspirations as a history painter were fulfilled when he was asked in 1656 to provide two subjects for the new Town Hall in Amsterdam (Solomon praying for Wisdom and Marcus Curius Dentatus). In 1659 a further twelve subjects were commissioned, but he died in Amsterdam on 2 February 1660, and the work was shared out amongst a group of painters.