Welcome to The Mesdag Collection

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.

The Mesdag Collection. Photography: René S. Gerritsen

Photography: René S. Gerritsen

Now on view and to do

A presentation on the painter Antonio Mancini:
Mesdag and Mancini

Presentation of paintings:
Through the eyes of Vincent van Gogh.

Would you like to know more about The Mesdag Collection?
Book a guided tour.

Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878), Cliffs at Villerville-sur-Mer, 1864-1872. Oil on canvas. The Mesdag Collection, The Hague

Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)
Cliffs at Villerville-sur-Mer

1864-1872, oil on canvas
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague

Masterpiece in the spotlight

The two mothers in the title are a woman and a ewe, taking their offspring home at the end of the day. In this parallel between the human and animal worlds Segantini depicted the universal nature of motherhood.  The pastel is based on a painting that is now lost. Segantini regularly made drawings after his own paintings in which he further developed and elaborated important themes.

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Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)
The Two Mothers

1884-86, Pastel and white gouache on paper
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague

Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)
The Two Mothers

1884-86, Pastel and white gouache on paper
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague

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.

Read more about the presentation ‘At home with the Mesdags: Photographs of an artistic life‘.

Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, 1906

Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, 1906

Photo : O. Becker & J. Maas
De Mesdag Collectie, Den Haag

Publication

Order online or buy in the Museum shop the book  The Mesdag Collection by Maite van Dijk, curator and Renske Suijver, researcher at the Van Gogh Museum.

This richly illustrated book tells the story of the remarkable collector from The Hague and includes all the highlights of the collection. Languages: English and Dutch. Price € 19,95.

> This book is available in the Van Gogh Museum online shop

Camille Corot (1796-1875) Chalk Rocks at Yport (detail)1872, Oil on canvas The Mesdag Collection The Hague

Camille Corot (1796-1875)
Chalk Rocks at Yport (detail)

1872, Oil on canvas
The Mesdag Collection The Hague