Jan Ekels the Younger was born on 28th June 1759. His father Jan Ekels the Elder was also a painter and specialised in the depiction of city views. Initially instructed by his father, Jan attended the Amsterdam Academy from 1774 to 1781. In 1776 he interrupted his studies for two years to continue his apprenticeship at the Paris Academy. After his return he won prizes in 1779 and 1781 respectively at the annual competitions of the Amsterdam Academy in drawing after the model. In 1783 he made a trip to the Rhine and also visited Düsseldorf. The following year he became a member of the Felix Meritis Society in Amsterdam. There Jan Ekels the Younger died on 4th June 1793. In the obituary published two days later in the Algemene Konsten Letterbode his talent as a draughtsman was particularly honoured.