Willem Romeyn was born around 1620-1625, probably in Haarlem, where on 19 August 1642 he is documented as a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem's. A signed painting from his youth, 'Two Cows and a Young Flute Player', has the incomplete date 163- (auctioned Würzburg, R. Mars, 4 July 1981). The next dated work, 'Resting Shepherds with Cows in an Italian Landscape' (auctioned Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 26 April 1977) was not painted until 1644; later dated works by Romeyn are rare as well. In 1646 he joined Haarlem's Guild of St Luke. In 1650/51 he lived in Rome in the circle of the Italianists. He and his wife, Gertje Jans, had their son Johannes baptised in Haarlem on 26 August 1652. In 1654 he signed a legal document as a witness. His son Dirck was baptised on 3 December 1658. In 1659/60 and 1677 he served on the jury of the painters' guild, and he was nominated for that office in 1670, 1671 and 1676. It is possible that in the 1660s he worked briefly in Amsterdam, where Jan Sysmus mentions him ('Oud Holland' 13, 1895, p. 114). In 1666, 1674/75, 1678 and 1682 he was involved in the taxation of painting collections. In 1679, 1682 and 1689 the guild sold some of his works. His wife was buried in Haarlem on 27 November 1683. He himself lived until at least 1695, for his last dated drawings come from that year. Romeyn specialised in the depiction of shepherds and cattle, which he composed before Italian landscapes and occasionally even backdrops with Roman antiquities. He is numbered among the second generation of Dutch Italianists, within which he betrays the influence of Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683) and Karel Dujardin (ca. 1622-1678).