Johannes Jacobus Heppener was born in The Hague and attended the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten. It was probably there that he met and befriended the painter J.H. Weissenbruch, two years his senior, who was also one of his instructors. Like 'le joyeux Weiss', Heppener's depictions of landscapes and seashores were mostly inspired by the area around his home. In the 1860s he painted landscapes around the old Dekkersduin dune, the Vliet canal and the town of Scheveningen. Several cityscapes of Delft and Leiden are also known by his hand.