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    Sale 2819

    Impressionist and Modern Art

    10 June 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 140

    Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915)

    Bomschuiten on a calm sea

    Price Realised  


    Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915)
    Bomschuiten on a calm sea
    signed 'HW Mesdag' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    113 x 78 cm.

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    Born in Groningen, Hendrik Willem Mesdag started his artistic career in Oosterbeek, a small town on the Veluwe, also called the 'Dutch Barbizon'. In the summer of 1866 he had met the landscape painter Gerard Bilders (1838-1865) who inspired him to study after nature. A few months later he moved to Brussels where he was taught by Willem Roelofs (1822-1897). At that time Paul Gabriel (1828-1903) and Mesdag's cousin Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) were also living in Brussels and were a great inspiration for Mesdag. In 1868 he would exhibited for the first time at the Societé Libre des Beaux-Arts, where artists could exhibit without being restricted to the rules of the Academy of Brussels.

    In that same year Mesdag discovered the subject that would inspire him for the rest of his life: the sea. In the summer of 1866 he visited the island Norderney and started to make sketches of the North sea. To capture the essence of the sea and depict it in its true sense however, he felt he had to be able to see it every day and live close to it. Therefore he decided to move to The Hague. Here he built a house on the Laan van Meerdervoort, where the current Museum Mesdag is situated. Mesdag's breakthrough came with the exposition at the Salon in Paris in 1870 where he won the golden medal for his painting Les Brisants de la Mer du Nord. This painting hung next to Courbet's La Vague and Courbet's influence on Mesdag is noticeable. This recognition confirmed his choice to be a painter of seascapes. From 1870 he exhibited one or two works annually at the Salon during forty years. Art-critics called Mesdag one of the greatest painters of The Hague School and in France he was being called 'le poète de la Mer du Nord' for his romantic view on the North Sea.

    The current lot depicts several 'Bomschuiten' in the breakers near the beach of Scheveningen. The sea is calm, but nevertheless the painting breathes a warm atmosphere with its brown and red hues. Mesdag studied nature precisely and observed the boats and the fishermen he saw on his daily visits to Scheveningen. The present lot is an overwhelming impression of the grey toned Dutch coast he admired so much.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    J. Poort, Hendrik Willem Mesdag 1831-1915: Oeuvrecatalogus
    , Wassenaar 1997, inv.no. 2021.57, p. 76, ill., as:
    Bomschuiten met anker en figuren.
    J. Poort, Hendrik Willem Mesdag 1831-1915: Oeuvrecatalogus in
    , Wassenaar 2001, inv.no. 2021.57, p. 47, ill.no. 731, as:
    Bomschuiten met anker en figuren.