Louis Apol started painting at a very young age, his natural talent earning him immediate recognition. He took private lessons from the renowned landscape artists Johannes Franciscus Hoppenbrouwers and Pieter Stortenbecker. As Apol's style developed he focused on winter scenes. Occasional solitary figures were used to underpin the often bleak mood of his compositions. Success and international recognition followed his debut in the Hague's triennial exhibition (1869). He received an honourable scholarship from the Dutch King William III which encouraged his development further. In 1880 he joined an exploratory voyage to the North Pole where he gained yet more inspiration for future projects.