Daniël Herbert van der Poll was born in 1877 in Amsterdam, the city where he also died at the age of 86. At the age of eighteen he started his artistic studies at the Rijksakademie. As a student of August Allebé, artist and director of the academy, and of Hobbe Smith, he further developed his skills. Van der Poll was a member of many associations, including Natura Artis Magistra, and he often visited the zoo, where he made studies of lions, tigers and other animals. He also studied the anatomy of deceased animals. He lived in Antwerp for several years, where he made many drawings and pastels in the zoo, until he returned to Amsterdam in 1918 to teach at the academy. Until 1942 he taught animal and human anatomy. As a member of Arti et Amicitiae, Van der Poll was awarded a gold medal by Queen Wilhelmina in 1925. Besides painting and drawing he was interested in astronomy.