Born near Lille, Waterloo seems to have been a self-taught artist, predominantly active as a draughtsman of landscapes. By 1630 he and his mother had moved to Amsterdam, where they were registered as members of the Walloon Church, and he was still in the city in 1640, when there is a record of his marriage. He made several sketching tours in the north and south of Germany, as well as in Italy and Belgium, and recorded these landscapes both in elegant pen-and-ink drawings and also in his etchings. However, he does not seem to have had a great commercial success as an artist during his lifetime, and made his living as an art dealer. It was throughout this profession that he became familiar with the works of many contemporary artists, such as Simon de Vlieger (circa 1601–1653) and Jacob van Ruisdael (q.v.), who had a profound impact on his style. Shortly after his marriage, he moved from Amsterdam to Leeuwarden and then to Maarssen, near Utrecht.
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