Based in Haarlem, De Braij painted portraits, history pictures and mythological scenes. He trained with his father, Salomon, a painter and architect. Jan de Braij was commissioned to paint group portraits, individuals and families. Apart from two years in Amsterdam, he spent his whole career in Haarlem, becoming a prominent member of the city’s Guild of St Luke. He experienced financial hardship later in life and was declared bankrupt in 1689.