Born in The Hague, Hanneman trained under John Ravesteyn before distinguishing himself as a portrait painter in his home town. In England at this time Charles I was ardently promoting the arts. Seeing an opportunity for work, Hanneman decided to visit and went on to stay for sixteen years. During this time he honed his style and painted numerous society figures. He also became an extremely successful imitator of the Flemish painter, Sir Anthony van Dyck, who was also resident in England. Following the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, Hanneman returned to The Hague. He was made painter to Mary, Princess of Orange and in 1665, became director of the Academy at The Hague.