The life of Cornelis van Zwieten is only sparsely documented. He apparently lived in Leiden, because his name is documented several times in the Guild of Saint Luke. In 1648 he was headmaster, then in 1658/59 "hoofdman" (captain) and in the following year, dean of the guild. On 7th January he married Francona Finckesteyn. Van Zwieten was buried in Leiden at the beginning of 1673.