“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.” Although Maris, like his brothers, belonged to the second generation of the Hague School, 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 Matthijs’s view, painting should go beyond the tangible world, his style became evermore dreamlike. His paintings turned into visions of another world. From 1887 onwards, Matthijs Maris led a solitary existence, reworking his paintings over and again with thin layers of paint until the subject became nearly indecipherable.