“My paintings are the incomplete expression of my thoughts; they belong to me, are part of my soul, and only I can understand them and realize how insufficient they are to express that which is in me.” Matthijs Maris, like his brothers, belonged to the second generation of the Hague School, but he eventually moved away from Realism towards a Symbolist-inspired style. Early in his career, he became familiar with the German Romantics. He had a close relationship with his elder brother, Jacob, who was his mentor. In his view, painting should go beyond the tangible world, and his style became evermore dreamlike. His paintings turned into visions of another world. In 1887, Maris began to lead a solitary life, reworking his paintings over and over again with thin layers of paint until the subject became nearly indecipherable.