Victor Hageman lived and worked in Antwerp where he was trained at the art academy. There he met Vincent van Gogh, with whom he seems to have kept up a steady correspondence after their academy years. Hageman was an artist with a social conscience and mainly painted figures from the seamier side of life such as expatriates, emigrants and the motley of fortune-seekers that he encountered in Antwerp's port and the Jewish neighbourhood. He also painted the brickworks in the city's Rupel region. Hageman was the founder of the association of artists and art patrons Kunst van Heden (1905).