The Belgian artist Henri Houben had to follow a music education from his parents, but he set up a 'studio de peinture et de musique' in the attic. The young Henri was allowed to go to the art academy in Antwerp, on the condition that he did not neglect his violin study. He received lessons from, among others, Charles Verlat, with whom he later made the panorama paintings 'The Battle of Waterloo' and 'Defile of the Russian Army'. Houben painted landscapes, genre scenes, figure pieces and portraits. The Belgian landscape and farm life were a source of inspiration, but also fishermen's life on the Dutch coast: Houben stayed in Veere, Middelburg, Katwijk and Volendam, among other places.