Pereda was born in Valladolid. He was the eldest of three brothers from an artistic family. His father, mother and two brothers were all painters. He was educated in Madrid by Pedro de las Cuevas and was taken under the protective wing of the influential Giovanni Battista Crescenzi. After Crescenzi's death in 1635, Pereda was expelled from the court and began to take commissions from religious institutions. As well as still lifes and religious paintings, Pereda was known for his historical paintings such as the Relief of Genoa (1635) which was painted for the Salón de Reinos of the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid as part of the same series as Velázquez's Surrender of Breda.