Hendrick van Steenwijk the Younger's early style resembled that of his father, an architecture painter. He likely spent several years in Antwerp, though he apparently was not enrolled in its painters' guild. Van Steenwijk's architectural interiors of this period are frequently populated with figures by Jan Brueghel the Elder and other Flemish painters who worked in Antwerp.
In 1617 van Steenwijk settled in London, where he painted architectural interiors in the backgrounds of portraits by Anthony van Dyck and others. By 1645 he was in Holland, working as a painter of architectural subjects at the court in The Hague. He must have died in 1649, since his wife, also a painter, then appears in Leiden's records as a widow. Many of van Steenwijk's church interiors were based on Antwerp Cathedral, including some night scenes lit by candles or torches. His settings also included crypts, Gothic interiors, and Renaissance palaces.