Willem Hofker, son of a high-ranking PTT official who was friends with the Eighties Isaac Israels, G.H. Breitner and Willem Witsen received a thorough painting training, first at the Academy in The Hague, then at the Rijksacademie Amsterdam. He then developed into a clever draftsman and impressionist and built up a reputation as a portrait painter. He had the gift of vividly suggesting personality and character. A commission to paint the portrait of Queen Wilhelmina for the KPM led to a stay in Indonesia, together with his wife Maria Rueter. From 1938 to 1946 both lived in Bali, where they sketched and painted. After their return, Hofker devoted himself mainly to portraits and cityscapes, which he often produced on commission.