The artist signed his work Bern-Klene but his real name was Bernardus Henricus Klene. He was born in Amsterdam in 1870 and his parents were native Dutch. He went to study in Antwerp and then later Brussels before travelling and painting across Germany, Italy and Corsica. In 1900, Klene arrived in Paris and finally settled at Veneux les Sablons, in the Seine et Marne region to the west of Paris, where he spent the rest of his life.
The artist was a close friend of Camille Pissarro, and many of the Impressionists, with whom he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Independents from 1902 onwards. In 1904 he won the Médaille d'Or de la Ville de Paris. The first London exhibition dedicated to Klene's work was held at the Kaplan Gallery on Duke Street in St. James's in October 1966 and included a broad selection of oil paintings and pastels.