Willem Rip belongs to the top of the so-called 'after bloom' of the Hague School. He painted a few portraits, but mostly landscapes near his hometown of The Hague, with a lot of attention to light and mood. His strength lies in his sense of space and in his skies with a sun breaking through the clouds. Sometimes Rip also painted landscapes near Bloemendaal and in North Brabant and Limburg.
Rip started as a lithographer at the firm of Zijdeman and Musly in Rotterdam and studied in the evenings at the Rotterdam Academy of Visual Arts. In 1873 he won his first silver medal at an exhibition in that city. Shortly afterwards he was awarded a royal grant, which enabled him to make a study trip to Munich. In 1888 Rip married Johanna Jacomina Mooijman and settled in The Hague, where Willem Mesdag and Jozef Israëls were regular visitors to his studio on Laan van Meerdervoort and he also received advice from Willem Roelofs. Israëls in particular appreciated Rip's work, which was exhibited several times in Pulchri Studio.
As a loyal follower of the Hague School, Rips preferred landscapes with lots of water and beautiful skies. Because he believed that an artist should constantly renew himself, he was always looking for new, surprising places in nature as a source of inspiration for his work. Rip particularly excelled as a watercolorist; his impressionistically painted landscapes – polders with canals and city edges with windmills – are a recurring motif. He has an impressive list of awards to his name and has participated in many exhibitions, including abroad. For example, there were one-man exhibitions by Rip in London and Paris. Much of his work was sold in America, where early 20th-century Dutch painting enjoyed great popularity. The Royal family also purchased several of Rip's works