A surgeon, Johan Catharinus Justus Bierens de Haan was sent by the Dutch Red Cross to devastated war zones. In his spare time he travelled through many centuries, including Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Japan and Turkey.
At home he began to amass a collection of prints. When he retired from medicine, he concentrated wholly on his collection and became a highly respected print expert. On his death he left his collection to Museum Boymans. He also bequeathed a sum of money, the annual interest from which funds additions to the print collection. This fund is called the Stichting Lucas van Leyden.