Wijnants was probably born in Haarlem. On December 12, 1660, he stated that he was 28 years old. He was the eldest son of the Catholic Haarlem art dealer Jan Wijnants (I) and his first, unknown, wife. His father later remarried Maria Jansdr. van Stralen, widow of Jasper Jaspersz. van Heemskerck. Thus Wijnants became stepbrother of the painter Egbert Jaspersz. van Heemskerck (I). He was active in Haarlem from the late 40s. According to a notarial deed of 25 August 1653, he was living in Rotterdam at that time with a certain Maria Wijnants, possibly his aunt. On April 20, 1660, he rented a room in Amsterdam and on April 28, he moved to that city where he continued to live until his death. On 12 December 1660 he had the banns put up in Amsterdam with Catharina van der Veer from the Runstraat there.
Wijnants is influenced by Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael. It is therefore not surprising that his subjects were forest, winter and Italianising landscapes. He also made pictures of animals and was involved with architecture as a genre. He worked in Haarlem, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Johannes Lingelbach (Frankfurt am Main, 10-10-1622 - 03-11-1674, Amsterdam) was his assistant. He painted figures in the paintings of the most skilled 17th-century landscape painters in the Netherlands. Adriaen van de Velde also assisted him. Wijnants was a teacher of Adriaen van de Velde and Nicolaes de Vree. He was followed by Buytewech, Willem Willemsz., Wilhelm von Kobell and Jan Wouwerman. Jan Cornelisz Holblock and Cornelis Vermeulen (1732-1813) were influenced by him.
Thieme/Becker 1907-1950 , vol. 36 (1947), p. 329-331
Von Wurzbach 1906-1911 , vol. 2, p. 907-908
Hofstede de Groot 1907-1928 (German edition) , vol. 8 (1923), p. 461-639
Hofstede de Groot 1907-1927 (English edition) , vol. 8 (1927), p. 427-586
Witt Checklist 1978
Sutton/Blankert 1987 , p. 523-527
Van der Willigen/De Kinkelder (typescript 1993/1998)
Harwood et al. 2002 , p. 190