Jan Simon Knikker Sr belonged to the group of 20th-century artists who carried on the Hague School tradition, working in the same painterly style and preferring similar atmospheric depictions of nature. For this reason he and his son Jan Knikker Jr are associated with the late flowering of the Hague School. Knikker Sr mostly painted scenes of water, the countryside and towns. He lived in Hillegom and Leiden, and from 1914 onwards in The Hague. His work was in great demand abroad.