Jan Griffier was born in Amsterdam and studied landscape painting under Roland Roghman and Jan Looten. He later moved to London where he painted views executed from his wine-boat. Most of his production, however, was devoted to pictures of small format, often on copper, which depicted Rhine and Moselle landscapes and were close in style to the work of Herman Saftleven. His two sons, Jan and Robert, also painted, often in the style of their father. This has made it very difficult to distinguish between the oeuvres of these artists.