The Mesdag Collection houses the exceptional collection of 19th-century art assembled by the renowned marine painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten. The collection, which contains a host of masterpieces by the French Barbizon School and the Hague School, has been exhibited in the Mesdags’ delightful private museum since 1887. Adjacent to the museum is the Mesdags’ former home, which can be hired for meetings and events.
Photography: René S. Gerritsen
Masterpiece in the spotlight
The coloration in In Groenendaal is as remarkable as the precise style. Gabriël introduced bright colour accents, for instance in the flowers and the woman’s red cap, and used dark blue instead of the usual black or brown to create the shadows. Mesdag greatly admired Gabriël’s colourful and accurate scene.
Constant Gabriël (1828 - 1903) In Groenendaal (near Brussels)
oil on canvas
At home with the Mesdags
In the late 19th century, the Mesdags held many leadership positions in the art world of The Hague. Hendrik Willem and Sientje served on numerous boards, organised parties and receptions and opened the doors of their own studios to the cultural elite. They also exhibited their own art collection in one of the first museums of contemporary art. Many photographs of their lives have been preserved. They include portraits, of course, but also beautiful views of their studios, their private quarters and the many social events that they organised. You can enjoy a semi-permanent presentation in their former residence, with reproductions of these historic photographs showing the many-faceted lives of this artist couple.