Shortly before 1900 Gerard Westermann, from Leeuwarden, started his education at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. He thus followed in the footsteps of fellow townsman J.H. Jurres, who had become a celebrated painter after his time at the academy in Amsterdam. Dream and history are initially Westermann's sources of inspiration. He idiosyncratically chooses his genre: knights, romantic scenes, figures and amazons, but also Amsterdam cityscapes. His rich oeuvre shows a great gift for portraying figures, horses and riders, portrayed in strong colors and shapes, often touching expressionism. Westermann was a board member of Arti en St. Lucas for many years and taught at the academy between 1918 and 1945, where he started his artistic career.