Not much is known about the life of Jan Ludovicus Moerman. He was born in Batavia (present-day Djakarta) in the Dutch East Indies and left for The Hague at the age of 16. He first lived in Antwerp for some time around 1876. He may have been taught by the Belgian painter Pierre Jean van der Ouderaa at the time. In the years that followed, he lived alternately in Zwijndrecht and Antwerp. His oeuvre consists mostly of narrative genre scenes of card players, dice players and figures in a café interior.