Willy Martens was educated at the Amsterdam National Academy under the tutelage of August Allebé and B. Wijnveld. His works include genre paintings, portraits and landscapes in painted, drawn and lithograph form, as well as peasant interiors and outdoor peasant family scenes in the style of the Laren School. Martens was director of the H.W. Mesdag national museum in The Hague until 1924, as well as member and chairman of Pulchri Studio, a Hague-based artists’ society. He was also a member of Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam.