Adriaen van de Velde was the younger brother of the marine painter, Willem van de Velde the Younger. He specialised in landscapes featuring figures and animals. Some religious and mythological paintings by him are also known, as well as a few portraits and domestic scenes.
He was born in Amsterdam and was probably trained by his father, Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611 - 93), a marine painter. He also trained with Jan Wijnants in Haarlem, and his work was influenced by Philips Wouwermans and Paulus Potter. He worked in Amsterdam from 1657. In his youth he probably visited Italy. He was employed by other Amsterdam artists to supply figures for their paintings.