Born on 16 February 1787 in The Hague, where he worked until 1811 as a frame-maker in his father's shop. He studied under J. Brekenheimer, and began to exhibit landscapes in 1815. His earlier work maintained a seventeenth-century Dutch idiom, but subsequent travel in Normandy and the discovery of contemporary European landscape painting led him to paint more extensive landscapes in a livelier romantic style.
He also made a number of water-colour studies from nature. Achenbach and Gudin were influenced by him, and Jongkind was one of his pupils. He taught at The Hague Academy and was a member of the Academies of Amsterdam, Brussels and Chent. He died at The Hague on 19 April 1870.