The son of the Dutch painter Lambert Jacobszoon, Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel was born in Leeuwarden, in the Dutch province of Friesland. After training as an artist in Amsterdam he worked in the town of Leiden, marrying there in 1648. In 1660 he moved back to Amsterdam, where he stayed until his death. Although his early works include biblical and allegorical scenes, he soon became primarily a portrait painter. After the darker and naturalistic, or ‘Rembrandtesque’, style of painting had gone somewhat out of fashion, there was a demand for smooth portraits with subtle colouring and a great amount of detail and realism. Lambertsz’s characteristically sober yet detailed style of painting was therefore very popular with the regent class in Amsterdam in the mid-seventeenth century.