Mauve was one of the leading members of The Hague School and a cousin, through marriage, of Vincent van Gogh. Hague artists’ use of such muted tones in their paintings earned them the nickname the “Grey School”. These low-key colours, which also had a certain affinity with those used by Whistler, appealed very much to the Glasgow Boys. The Hague School painters were interested in painting out of doors and capturing light effects, and Mauve was particularly known for his rendering of a special kind of silvery light. Mauve’s best known paintings are simple domestic subjects - peasants working in fields or herding scenes. His pictures of rural life tend not to rely on depicting the struggle between man and nature, but often focus on the bond between them.