Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef (1886 - 1957) was born in Pretoria on 13 August 1886, the year Johannesburg was founded. During the Anglo-Boer war, the family left for the Netherlands, where he came into contact with the paintings of the old masters. During 1900, Pierneef studied drawing under an architect at Hilversum. He worked part time in a paint factory, attending night classes in drawing. In 1901 he studied at Rotterdamse Kusakademie.