Son of Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuysen who coached many painters, he interspersed his life in The Hague with long periods spent in Drenthe. In the 45 years that he visited various places in Drenthe, he saw it changing – with the disappearance of the heather, deforestation during the First World War followed by replanting in the context of job creation. He wanted to preserve the beauty of Drenthe for posterity. He liked to stay in Zweeloo but complained that Miss Mensingh could not be persuaded to let him to stay any longer than two nights. Painters were not really welcome at the inn.