Abraham van Cuylenborch was born around 1620. The isolated date of 1624 on a painting in the Galerie Schönfeld in Pommersfelden is probably a misreading. Dated works begin in great numbers in 1638 ('Tritons and Sea Nymphs', auctioned London, Christie's, 22 May 1964, no. 25). In the 1650s they become less common. In the Dordrecht inventory of Aert Teggers from 1688 (Getty Provenance Index, no. N-1550), Van Cuylenborch is identified as a pupil of Cornelis van Poelenburgh. In 1639 he joined the painters' guild in Utrecht, and on 23 May 1641 he married there. In the Amsterdam inventory of Abraham Verleth, Hendrick Uylenburgh and Thomas de Keyser appraised a grotto picture ("een grot") by Van Cuylenborch on 22 April 1660 at twenty-two gulden (fiches from C. Hofstede de Groot in the R.K.D.). He was buried in Utrecht on 22 November 1658.
Van Cuylenborch specialised in the painting of grotto pictures, which he generally decorated with motifs from antique ruins. In addition to figures in contemporary costume, he liked to depict nymphs and the story of Diana and Acteon. Examples of this can be seen in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, where there is also a 'Return of the Prodigal Son' by the artist.
Cornelis van Poelenburgh (ca. 1593-1667) and Charles de Hooch (died 1638) were his most important models.