Born to a Protestant family in Paris in 1615, he was the son of Noel Bernard, a painter. He was a pupil of both Simon Vouet and of Louis du Guernier, and made some attempts at fresco painting, but not succeeding to his expectation, he painted miniatures for a while, before finally devoting himself entirely to engraving. Some still lifes, painted in the early 1660s are also known.
He joined the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture on its foundation in 1648 and became professor there in 1655. He was expelled on religious grounds in 1681, but restored to his post following his recantation of Protestantism four years later.