Salomon Leonardus, shortly 'Samuel' Verveer was a student of the Academy in The Hague before entering the studio of Bartholomeus van Hove, where he befriended his fellow student Johannes Bosboom. Verveer developed into an artist of broad talent, painting town views, landscapes and river and harbour scenes. Although embedded in the Romantic tradition, many of his paintings have the same realist qualities as the best pictures of his contemporary artists, later included into The Hague School. Verveer was a highly regarded member of Pulchri Studio as well, the artist’s society that was at the heart of The Hague School, and it is most likely due to his death in 1876, that he is not counted among them. He therefore is considered a position between the Romantic tradition and the realism of The Hague School.It is interesting to realize that one of the most important themes of The Hague School painters was first explored by Verveer and Andreas Schelfhout (1787-1870), the leading landscape painter of the Romantic School. The life and work of the fisher folk in Scheveningen, The Hague’s beach town, became a prime motive later in the century for Hague School painters like Mesdag, Artz, Weissenbruch and Blommers.The position of The Hague as the centre of Dutch painting in the second half of the century was very much geographically determined: a pleasant city with the polders on one side, the dunes, beach and the North Sea on the other, for the artists to roam in search of subject matter.
Verveer was particularly drawn to the picturesque town of Scheveningen and the locals with their traditional dress. The tough fisherman’s life gave him the opportunity to include a certain sentiment and storyline in his paintings, very much like Jozef Israels in many of his Scheveningen interiors. The romantic atmosphere and bright colours of the work he made around 1840 reveal the influence of his young friend W.J.J. Nuijen, who died prematurely. He subsequently painted with a natural light and without any romantic motifs like ruins or reflecting rivers. His paintings were a huge success with his contemporaries. His best known student was Jan Weissenbruch.