Hermanus Koekkoek sr, the youngest son of marine painter Johannes Hermanus, succeeded his father as a sea painter when his older brother Johannes died in 1831. In 1832 one could see his 'churning water' for the first time at the Exhibition of Living Masters in Amsterdam, and this showed that his left-handedness did not hinder his talent. Hermanus sr was born in Middelburg, then lived in Durgerdam on the Zuiderzee, and then moved to Amsterdam in 1832 or 1833. There he had a very successful career as a painter of sea, beach and river views for fifty years. Ships in stormy weather, on rippling waves or on smooth water were his specialty. In addition, he painted some wooded landscapes. In the work of Hermanus, the influence of father Johannes Hermanus is evident in the detailed representation of the vessels, the characterful drawing of the water and the lively, narrative upholstery. With a fine brushstroke and the same eye for detail, he painted the daily life of the fishing people on the ships. Buyers liked such realistic details at the time. Like his father, he sold a lot of work abroad, especially to England. In addition to the Zeeland waters, the painter also found inspiration in and around the Zuiderzee, the current IJsselmeer, which was busy at the time by professional ships and offered a completely different look than now. He taught the art of painting to his sons Hermanus jr, Jan H.B. Koekkoek and Willem, and also taught in Amsterdam the later sea painter Willem Gruyter jr, who was only two years younger than him.