Moreelse was born in Utrecht, Holland. His father, Paulus Moreelse, was at that time a famous portrait painter. Little is known about his life. Johan Moreelse studied in Utrecht, in the studio of his father, and then in Rome (1627), where he was appointed into a papal knight order. Moreelse died in his home town during a plague epidemic. His small number of known works were only assigned to him in the 1970s.
- B. Nicolson, Caravaggism in Europe, Oxford (1979), 2nd ed., dl. I, pp. 150–151
- J. A. Spicer [e.a.], cat. tent. Masters of Light. Dutch painters in Utrecht during the Golden Age, Baltimore (The Walkers Art Gallery), San Francisco (Fine Arts Museum), London (The National Gallery) (1997–1998), pp. 385–386
- Media related to Johannes Moreelse at Wikimedia Commons