Aert Egeromsz. van der Neer was born in Amsterdam, probably around 1603/04, a son of Egerom Aertsz. van der Neer and Aeltje Jansdr. A document dated 12 May 1642 gives his age as "roughly thirty-four". On 16 March 1629 Van der Neer married Lijsbeth Govaerts in his hometown. On the marriage licence he is identified as a painter, suggesting that at that point he had already completed his training. The couple's seven children were born in Amsterdam, among them Eglon Hendrick, who would later be active mainly as a genre painter. On 28 December 1642 the painter Rafael Govertsz. Camphuysen served as a witness to the baptism of Van der Neer's daughter Cornelia. It is possible that Camphuysen was Van der Neer's teacher, but only collaboration with his brother Joachim Govertsz. Camphuysen is documented. Stylistic parallels could also go back to contacts in Amsterdam, where the Camphuysen brothers had lived since the early 1620s. Beginning in the late 1650s documents mainly attest to Van der Neer's activity as a tavern keeper, a role he played along with painting: in 1659 he was identified as the innkeeper of the 'Graeff van Hollant' in the Kalverstraat. Moreover, he is named, together with his son, as a 'wyntapper'. When Van der Neer declared bankruptcy on 12 December 1662, an inventory of his possessions was made. Another document from 21 March 1663 tells us that three months later he was already debt-free. Nevertheless, Van der Neer spent the rest of his life in poverty. On 9 November 1677 he died in Amsterdam. His sons declined their inheritance in order to afford a proper burial for their father. Van der Neer specialised in winter scenes and night pieces with moonlight and twilight. His early work mainly shows the influence of the Camphuysen brothers. But his winter pictures reveal the importance of Hendrick Avercamp and Esaias van der Velde for his style. Large-format works suggest patrons, but these have not been documented. Inventory entries indicate that copies after works by Aert van der Neer were already in existence in 1664.