Johan Hendrik Weissenbruch was born into an artistic family in The Hague. He received his first drawing lessons when he was sixteen, three years later he enrolled in evening classes at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. His early work consists mostly of cityscapes, executed in intense detail. Weissenbruch made trips to Arnhem and Haarlem and explored the area around the Delftse Vliet in The Hague. Later he also travelled to Gouda and Boskoop. Sometime between 1875 and 1880 Weissenbruch visited the villages of Noorden and Nieuwkoop in South Holland. He returned to this area to record the typically Dutch polder landscape. An exhibition held by the art dealer Buffa & Sons in 1899 was a great commercial success. In 1889 he received a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Amsterdam.