Dolf Breetvelt was originally a painter, who discovered sculpture in later life. He was educated at the Hague Academy and left for Java in 1920 as a drawing teacher. Until his return in 1937, his style changed from realistic (New Objectivity) to surrealistic expressionism. In 1949 he joined the artists' group Vrij Beelden, which included Willy Boers, Eugène Brands and Piet Ouborg. In 1951 Breetvelt started making plastics. Initially made of wood and strongly inspired by the sculpture of natural peoples, then also from other materials such as iron and concrete.