Joseph Van den Kerckhoven was born in Bruges. He became a student of J. Van Meunincxhove in 1682, and then a student of E. Quellinus in Anvers. After a voyage to Frankfort, he founded the Academy of Bruges, and became the director. Kerkhove painted the ceiling of the Ostend's City Hall, and did work for many of the most important churches in northern Europe.