Philip Zilcken (1857-1930) was born The Hague, and from his 16th he was the private secretary of queen Sophie of The Netherlands. He started painting around his 18th, and he became a pupil of the The Hague drawing academy. There he was taught by Karel Klinkenberg and Anton Mauve.
Zilcken was tremendously successful as a painter, and received both awards and titles. Between 1896 and 1905 he was an editor of Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift, a monthly magazine about culture and literature. As an editor he was a champion for the young artists called the 'Tachtigers' (Movement of Eighty). As a member of the Nederlandse Etsclub (Dutch Etching Society) he was well-acquainted to several of the Tachtigers.
Aside from his work in The Netherlands, Zilcken was an avid traveller, with a specific interest in France and North-Africa. He visited Algiers and Egypt, and the oriental views he painted are among his most popular works. Later in his life, Zilcken would spend his life travelling between The Hague and Villefranche-sur-Mer, where he died in 1930.