Jacob Sybout de Vries painted landscapes, plants and flowers, but also cityscapes and crowds of people (cafes, markets). Initially his style is impressionistic, later he works in tighter lines and planes. The attractive thing about his paintings is the use of colour: his tones are muted and restrained, yet lively, creating a harmonious image. De Vries was born in Sneek, but spent most of his life in Haarlem. There he studied at the School of Applied Arts. He learned the painting trade from Henri Frédéric Boot, nestor of the Haarlem School, and from the expressionist Roelof Klein. In 1967 the painter returned to Friesland.