Willem Dooyewaard’s interest in exotic cultures led him at an young age to Indonesia where Balinese dancers formed the subjects of his early work. His style developed under the influence of Rudolf Bonnet, the well-known Dutch painter in Bali, who had settled there in 1928.
Dooyewaard also visited China, Tibet, India and North Africa. In Japan, women in traditional dress and Geisha culture, became favourite subjects rendered in his characteristic impressionistic style. He returned from Japan in 1935 and settled with his wife in Blaricum, the Netherlands where he continued to paint, concentrating in his later career on ballet dancers.