Herman Gouwe belongs to the Dutch Luminists. After studying at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie, he travelled throughout Italy and Spain for two years. Upon his return in 1905, he spent the summers in South Limburg, making expressive canvases of the farmland with its peasants and horses. After he became acquainted in Blaricum, in about 1910, with the Luminist work of Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel and Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, his paintings became pure sunlight and colour. Gouwe received critical acclaim and was mentioned in the same breath as his contemporaries Mondrian, Sluijters and Toorop. The painter himself, however, was opposed to all the success and in 1927 turned his back permanently on the Dutch art world and moved to Tahiti.