Kees Maks was a pupil of George Hendrik Breitner. He is regarded as one of the most important modern figurative artists of the early 20th century. While in the early 20th century avant-garde painting asserted its influence in Europe, during the interwar period many artists returned to a more neoclassical figuration, which became known as "Retour a l'ordre." Especially in Paris, these figurative artists, including Kees van Dongen, gained fame. Kees Maks made his name with his paintings of mundane nightlife. Circus performances, dancing couples, strolling parties and garden parties were hitherto unknown themes in Dutch art. The lively subjects and the frivolous manner of painting, in which the artist used bright, vivid colors to form large areas of color, impressed the public. Along with Kees van Dongen and Jan Sluijters, Maks caused a sensation with their works because of their modernity. He is related to the Bergen School and the Hague School.