Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam on 24 April 1904. In 1916 de Kooning began to train as a commercial artist; at the same time he attended evening courses at the Rotterdam Academie voor Beldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen (Rotterdam Academy) until 1924. Afterwards he studied at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the van Schelling School of Design in Antwerp.
De Kooning relished studio experiments, like mixing oil paint with water for puckered textures, or off-printing parts of wet paintings onto pages of the Times, making a mad science of beauty. Even his last paintings, titled by the artist when he could no longer sign his name, excite with fresh and highly promising stylistic departures, and when last seen, de Kooning was still inventing, and the old art of painting was born anew at the ends of his brushes.