Little is known about Jan de Melter's life. He is recorded in Brussels in 1675 in an inventory of Frans van der Hecke, while he also signed tapestries manufactured in conjunction with Jandop I van der Borcht (an example of an armorial tapestry with the arms of the count of Monterey is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - G. Delmarcel, Flemish Tapestry, Tielt, 1999, p. 237). He was further head of the tapestry weavers of Brussels in 1679 and had six looms. He received a number of commissions from France after 1675 and moved to Lille in 1688 where he presented this tapestry as proof of his abilities to the magistrates of the city. However, the business conditions must have proven difficult as he is again recorded negotiating with the Spanish Crown to establish a Royal manufactory in that city in 1694. The strained financial situation of Spain during that period, however, thwarted that effort. He appears to have remained in Lille and operated nine looms until his death in circa 1699. His daughter Catharina de Melter carried on his workshop and married the more prolific weaver Guillaume Werniers in 1700. His work mainly consisted of very finely woven picture and portrait panels such as the Madonna and Child tapestry illustrated in A. Gray Bennett, Five Centuries of Tapestry from The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, 1992, pp. 200-201 and of figure and landscape compositions such as Spring which is illustrated in H. Göbel, Tapestries of the Lowlands, New York, 1924, fig. 461.