Willem Witsen was a Dutch artist who was born in Amsterdam on 13 September 1860. He died in Amsterdam on 13 April 1923. Witsen originated from a prestigious Amsterdam family. Between 1876 and 1884 he studied at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (State Academy of Fine Arts). He was a painter but he became also a famous graphic artist. In 1885, he established with two art lovers the Nederlandse Etsclub, a society for etchers. During the 1880s, Witsen started to paint gloomy cityscapes of Amsterdam, Dordrecht and London. He also was a painter of still lifes and portraits. Like George Hendrik Breitner, Witsen became known for his pictures which he probably started taking from 1890.