Willem Abraham Wassenaar, born in Katwijk, chose an artistic path at the age of 27 after brief careers working in the tulip fields and as a police agent. The story goes that his talent was discovered by Jan Toorop, who advised him and helped him financially. After his first solo exhibition at the Oldenzeel gallery in Rotterdam in 1905, Toorop would exhibit to much acclaim at shows of the Katwijk artists' association in 1908, 1909 and 1910. This was a period in which Toorop painted almost wholly in a pointillist style, of which the occasional echoes can be seen in Wassenaar's work. He also drew and painted oils and watercolours in an impressionistic style of the countryside and flower bulb fields near Katwijk, Rijnsburg and Wassenaar.