Willem Matthijs Maris, as the eldest son of Jacob Maris, belonged to the second generation of Maris painters. For a moment he considered a career as a violinist, but in the end he decided to follow in his father's footsteps. Willem developed into a well known portrait painter, who received many assignments from well-to-do circles. For many 'free' portraits his wife Hélène was often model. It is striking that he used the watercolor technique for portraits of considerable size. He also painted landscapes and figure pieces.