Born in Amsterdam, Wissing was trained in The Hague and in Paris. He arrived in London in 1676, where he became assistant to Sir Peter Lely. After Lely's death in 1680, Wissing helped to finish off his uncompleted portraits. Wissing subsequently became a fashionable portrait painter and was taken up by the court. He was sent to Holland by James II in 1684 to paint the Prince of Orange and Princess Mary. Wissing's style was heavily based on the work of Lely and he received much patronage from the nobility and gentry.