Mesdag, Hendrik Willem

BORN 23 Feb 1831, Groningen - DIED 10 Jul 1915, Den Haag, Zuid-Holland
GRAVE LOCATION Den Haag, Zuid-Holland: Oud Eik en Duinen, Laan van Eik en Duinen (C3 KLD 402)

Hendrik Mesdag was born in Groningen and was interested in drawing an painting from an early age. In 1856 he married Sina van Houten, who also liked art. Mesdag was supposed to pursue a career in the family business, but in 1866 he gave it up to become a painter, with the full support of Sina.

His nephew Lawrence Alma-Tadema introduced him to Willem Roelofs in Brussels, who was his teacher between 1866 and 1869. In 1869 he moved to The Hague and already in 1870 he won a gold medal at the Salon in Paris with "Les brisants de la Mer du Nord" that was bought by Charles Chaplin, a member of the jury.

He became an important member of the Pulchri Studio in the Hague, which he presided from 1889 until 1907. In Paris he collected paintings, many of them from the Barbican School. He placed them in a separate building next to his home and this became the Museum H.W. Mesdag in 1887. In 1903 he presented the entire museum to the Dutch State. He became its director until 1911.

In 1909 his wife died and in 1915 he was buried beside her at the Oud-Eik-en-Duinen cemetery in The Hague. His best known work, "Panorama Mesdag" (1880) is a huge cylindrical painting of Scheveningen. It can be seen in a museum with the same name in The Hague.

• Wife: Mesdag, Sientje (1856-1909)

Related persons
• is cousin of Alma-Tadema, Lawrence


The grave of Hendrik Mesdag at the Oud Eik en Duinen Cemetery, The Hague.
Picture by Androom (03 Aug 2007)


Summa Encyclopedie
De Volkskrant
Hendrik Willem Mesdag - Wikipedia
Museum Panorama Mesdag

Mesdag, Sientje

Published: 09 Sep 2007
Last update: 02 Feb 2022