Art writer, painter, draughtsman, engraver, book illustrator. At the age of nine, Houbraken became an assistant in the shop of the Dordrecht merchant in twine, Johannes de Haan. His patron, being himself trained in painting by Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693), gave the young boy the opportunity to copy drawings and prints. In 1672, Houbraken began his apprenticeship as a painter, first for a short time as a pupil of the landscape painter Willem van Drielenburch (c. 1625-after 1677). In 673-1674, he spent nine months in the studio of the portraitist Jacobus Levecq (1634-1675).