Little is known about the early life of Hendrick Jansz. Terbrugghen. The year of his birth, 1588, is provided by the inscription made by his son on the frame of one of his paintings and by two Terbrugghen portraits that were engraved around 1706 by Pieter Bodart. His father, Jan ter Brugghen, was a bailiff in Utrecht. However, from 1585 to 1602, he is documented in The Hague, so his son Hendrick could have been born and presumably spent his childhood there. The artist biographers Joachim von Sandrart and Cornelis de Bie mention an apprenticeship under the Utrecht painter Abraham Bloemaert that could have taken place around 1602. In the spring of 1607, Hendrick is named as a cadet in the army of Ernst Kasimir of Nassau-Diez. Presumably around this time, Terbrugghen journeyed to Italy, where he is documented in Milan in 1614. After his return in 1616, he enrolled in Utrecht's Guild of St Luke, and in the same year married Jacomijna (Jacoba) Verbeeck. The painter may have made a second trip to Italy from 1619 to 1621, but it is undocumented. In the following years, he is known to have been in Utrecht, where he died on 1 November 1629, possibly from the plague that was raging there at the time, and was buried in the Buurkerk. Like many of the artists among the 'Utrecht Caravaggists', Terbrugghen painted both histories and genre paintings. They are influenced by a familiarity with engravings by Lucas van Leyden and Albrecht Dürer on the one hand and the paintings of Caravaggio on the other. Terbrugghen could have studied the originals of the latter during his Italian sojourn, but he was surely also in close communication with other Utrecht travellers to Rome such as Gerard van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen. His only documented pupil was Sebastiaen van Hattingh (Hattich).