David van der Kellen was born on 12 August 1867 in Utrecht, where his father worked at the national mint. In 1887 he is released from military service due to his physical condition. His profession at this time is listed as a lithographer. His profession is glass painter in early 1894 when he volunteers with the Corps of Engineers. He moved to Gouda end of December 1897 where he is listed as plateelschilder. His working period with PZH is less than a year, he moved back to Utrecht in September 1898. No profession is listed, and on 25 May 1899, he is admitted to the local Psychiatric Hospital for 4 months. Only in 1904 is again a profession noted for him, "painter", in 1906 changed to glass painter. No later information was found.
His known oeuvre at PZH confirms short employment.