Hendrik Willem Mesdag's international career started when he received the gold medal in 1870 at the Salon de Paris for his large seascape Les Brisants de la Mer du Nord (Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). The French art-critics considered Mesdag 'un bon heritier de la tradition Hollandaise'. His typically Dutch seascapes were very popular, not only at the Salon but also in other countries such as Belgium, France, America and Canada. Mesdag considered himself a realistic seascape painter, and in order to be closer to the sea, he purchased a room at the 'Villa Elba' and later at Hotel Rauch, located at the Scheveningen beach. Until his death in 1915, Mesdag visited the sea frequently to seek inspiration for his paintings. When the character of the fishing village changed into an modern beach-resort around the turn of the century, Mesdag would use his old sketches as the basis for his pictures.
A truthful rendering of reality and sincerity can be seen in Mesdag's seascapes, whether he painted the North Sea in stormy weather or calm and peaceful, his paintings always make a strong impression on the spectator. In the present lot the artist depicted numerous Bomschuiten in the waves. The fishermen and anchor lines in the water indicate that the coast is nearby. As there was no harbour in Scheveningen until 1894, the sailing vessels had to land directly on the sandy beaches at high tide. The detailed and atmospheric scene depicted in the present lot, in which the sea and the sky are infused with soft hues of blue, white and grey, is strikingly rendered. The present lot is a beautiful example of Mesdag's work in which he depicts the interesting effect of light on water and the sky.