Wissing was born in Amsterdam and trained at The Hague and in Paris. He settled in London in 1676 where he worked as an assistant to Lely. He became a popular court painter after Lely's death, especially with female sitters. Van de Vaardt was born in Haarlem and came to London in 1674. He worked as Wissing's assistant and collaborator, painting the draperies and landscape backgrounds to portraits. After Wissing's early death, Van de Vaardt took over the studio and continued to produce portraits in a similar style. He also painted some remarkably realistic still-lifes, including the famous violin on the back of a door at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.