Dirck de Bray was born in Haarlem, the son of the painter and architect, Salomon de Bray. He spent his entire career in Haarlem. In 1656 he became a bookbinder’s assistant, but at the same time, according to Houbraken, he also made sketches after his father’s paintings. He was also a skilled printmaker, in etching and particularly in woodcut. He entered the Guild of St. Luke in 1671, but in the late 1670s he entered the Gaesdonck monastery near Goch in Brabant and served there as a lay brother until his death. His earliest known flower painting is of 1665. There are currently only seven flower still lifes known by de Bray, which are all of exceptional quality and show an unusual preference of ‘real’ bouquets with blooms from a specific season.