The self-taught Dirk van Haaren lived and worked in Amsterdam his entire life. With its port and canals, the city served as his main source of inspiration. He also painted polder landscapes with cattle outside of Amsterdam in the style of the Hague School. From the 1940s onwards his oeuvre chiefly comprised equestrian scenes. The painter was a member of the artist's societies Arti et Amicitiae and St. Lucas in Amsterdam.