An artist of the Dutch School, Gorter became famous for both his oil paintings and drawings of the vast landscapes and quintessential scenery of his native Dutch countryside. A student of the National Academy in Amsterdam, he found success not only in the Netherlands but also in Germany and France, winning an honourable mention for his work in 1904, followed by a medal in 1905, and then a second place medal in 1915.
Working more in the manner of the French Barbizon School than in that of the Dutch Hague School, Gorter's style and technique of close observation of nature and thickly applied paint were likened to such French greats as Jules Dupre and Henri Harpignies. From 1900 on, a number of his paintings could be found in Paris at the annual Salons, and one was acquired by the French state for the Musee du Luxembourg (although this piece now resides in the Musee d’Orsay). Gorter was even honoured and revered by the French to have been elected a member of the Institut de France, succeeding the famed Fernand Khnopff.
Gorter's influence was not limited to France and Germany, for he exhibited his canvases as well in the United Kingdom around 1914 at both the Royal Academy of Britain and the Royal Scottish Academy. The studies he executed en plein air that served him in executing much larger canvases have become very sought after around the globe, including both Canada and the United States.