This month we have Mother Love by Lawrence Alma Tadema as ‘Masterpiece in the spotlight‘. The little work was originally part of an album of watercolour drawings that the members of the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij presented to Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his wife Sientje van Houten in 1881 on the occasion of their silver wedding.
1881, transparent watercolour on paper Private collection, Amersfoort
About the museum
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
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.