Willem Gerad Hofker was born in Amsterdam in 1902. He attended the Rijksacademie voor BeeldendeKunsten (National Academy of Fine Arts). At the age of 28, he married his wife Maria Rueter, who was also a painter and a lecturer at the Rijksacademie voorBeeldende Kunsten. Hofker won second price at the Prix de Rome in 1927, he continued to extend his reputation through several monumental projects assigned to him. He further gained his reputation andwas assigned to paint a portrait of Queen Wilhelminafor the head office of Koninklijke PakketvaartMaatschappij (KPM) in Batavia (now Jakarta), the former Dutch colonies in East-Indies.
From 1939 onwards, Hofker and Maria travelled extensively. As a result, paintings of Indonesian subjects were widely seen in their works during their stay in Indonesia from 1938 to 1944. The couples were interned in different prison camps during World War Two, due to their reluctance in joining the Indonesian nationalists, the Hofkersreturned to Amsterdam by the end of the war, and settled there. Despite their return was not followed by warm welcoming audiences at first, the challenging period did not last long. He painted nearly a thousand portraits for private owners and organizations. Even in the latter part of his life, the Balinese landscapes and dancers were in high demand.