Van Calraet was born in Dordrecht, where he reportedly underwent initial artistic training with the Huppe brothers. They were both sculptors, although no sculpture by Abraham is known. Abraham’s brother Barent studied under the painter Aelbert Cuyp, but it is clear from Abraham’s work that he also knew Cuyp’s work very well. The similarity between these two artists has made it difficult to separate their work, especially when their paintings are initialled, as their names share the same first letters ‘AC’. Van Calraet’s landscapes with horses and cattle also reveal the influence of the artists Jan Both and Philips Wouwerman. He departed from landscapes only to paint still life, and these finely worked luscious displays of fruit, flowers and insects form the most original group in his work.