Though educated as a linguist, in 1874 F.P. ter Meulen decided to dedicate himself to painting. He settled in The Hague, where he became interested in the Hague School artists and their impressionistic depictions of the Dutch natural landscape. His own landscapes with animals, mostly sheep, were influenced in particular by Anton Mauve, who portrayed ‘true’ nature, according to Ter Meulen. Following in the footsteps of H.J. van der Weele, he made trips to Elspeet in the Dutch Veluwe for many years to sketch and paint.