Born at Leeuwarden; gradually deafened at age 7 from unknown causes. Entered the Groningen institution for the deaf in 1799, where he got lessons in drawing along with the usual curriculum; left school in 1802. Taught drawing to others out of his parents' house while learning to paint; also studied art in France and Italy before turning to painting for a living. In 1821 became a teacher of drawing at the (hearing) grammar school in Franeker, the first deaf person in the Netherlands to become a teacher, but was forced to resign in 1829 because of communication difficulties. Translated into Dutch and published two French books on drawing and painting. Lived and worked alternately in Haarlem and Amsterdam until becoming blind in 1837, forcing him to return to his relatives' care in Leeuwarden until his death. Many of his artworks are found in the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and one is in the Dorotheum in Vienna, Austria.
8 June 1788-27 November 1839