Hans von Bartels was one of a group of German painters who specialised in painting scenes of life in the Dutch fishing village Katwijk. The son of an affluent Hamburg family, he was trained by the renowned Düsseldorf painter Rudolf Hardorff before settling down in Munich in 1885. In 1887 Von Bartels visited Katwijk for the first time, to return there subseqently every year. The lives of the fishermen and their families, their colourful traditional dress, the beach and the boats provided him a constant source of inspiration. He was also one of the first painters to treat watercolour and gouache as independent media, as attested by his large-scale gouaches.