• Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, Dune's edge, c. 1880, oil on canvas, Museum Panorama Mesdag.
  • Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Area around Brussels, 1868, Oil on canvas, Museum Panorama Mesdag
  • Hendrik Willem Mesdag, The village of Scheveningen, 1873, oil on canvas, Museum Panorama Mesdag.,
  • Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, Onions, 1881 , Oil on panel, Museum Panorama Mesdag
  • Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Ships on the beach with fishermen’s wives, oil on canvas, Museum Panorama Mesdag.
  • Hendrik Willem Mesdag, After the storm of 1894, 1896, oil on canvas, Museum Panorama Mesdag
Schilderij in bruin en okertinten. Links duinpartijen met bomen in de verte, in het midden staat een vrouw met witte kap op
Zicht op het dorp Scheveningen met rechts de trambaan en links een stuk duin.
Verwoeste vissersschepen na een storm liggen kapot op het strand.

Artists and spouses

Both Mesdag and Mesdag-van Houten became professional painters relatively late in life. They were greatly occupied with nature and their work conveys their primary concern, which was ‘to gain an understanding of nature’ – meaning they were nature activists before such a term existed.

Love for the sea

The sea became Mesdag’s most important subject. In his own words: ‘The sea is mine.’ His beloved sea was the reason he settled in The Hague, from which he could admire the North Sea on a daily basis. Mesdag had a masterful ability to depict extreme weather conditions, from savage waves or a storm to a tranquil sea under massive banks of clouds.

His work began to garner international acclaim in 1870, culminating in the pinnacle of his artistic career in 1881: The Panorama of Scheveningen.

Renowned for her unique use of colour

Mesdag-van Houten painted still-lifes, portraits and landscapes in and around Scheveningen, in Drenthe and in the Veluwe region. She was most renowned for her unique use of colour and was among the most well-known and acclaimed female artists of her era.

  • Hendrik Willem Mesdag in his atelier
  • Sientje Mesdag-van Houten in her atelier
Sientje Mesdag-van Houten poseert op een stoel in haar atelier.

The panoramic phenomenon

Pinnacle of artistic achievement

Panorama of Scheveningen

The galleries serve as a prelude to the world-famous Panorama of Scheveningen. Even today, this artistic masterpiece by Hendrik Willem Mesdag can be seen on the exact spot where it was painted so long ago. It is the world’s oldest panorama still displayed in the original rotunda.

A timeline in the last gallery gives an overview of the Panorama’s creation, as well as important moments in the lives of Mesdag and Mesdag-van Houten.

Audio tours

Listen and discover

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Want to learn more about the works in ‘Collection Treasures’, or hear more of the stories behind them? There is an audio tour available for this exhibition; you can listen to it for free on your smartphone

Collection | Museum Tour

What makes Chrysanthemums in a vase, a work by Mesdag-van Houten, so special? And how do we know that the painting The village of Scheveningen depicts a Monday? This audio tour shares remarkable stories and points out eye-cathing details.

Available in both Dutch and English.