Johan Adolph Rust mainly painted cityscapes, riverscapes and sea pieces. He studied at the academy in Amsterdam, and was also taught by his uncle, the urban portraitist Cornelis Springer. In his hometown of Amsterdam, he gave drawing lessons at the Ambachtsschool and the Industrieschool der Maatschappij voor de Werkende Stand. Johan Rust has taught Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, John Hulk Jr., F.A. Lissone and Martin Monnickendam. From 1856 the painter was a member of the artists' association Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam. Rust regularly exhibited his work at the annual exhibitions of Levende Meesters in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.