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Zeestraat 65

Museum Mesdag still exists but is known today as the Museum Panorama Mesdag. The museum is open to visitors (an entry fee applies).

Van Gogh in

Panorama Mesdag

  1. 23 Aug. 1881 1881
     - 25 Aug. 1881 1881

Panorama Mesdag, the museum featuring a vast cylindrical painting of Scheveningen, the surrounding dune landscape and the North Sea, opened on 1 August 1881. With its remarkable dimensions – 14 metres high and 120 metres wide – it remains the largest painting in the Netherlands today. The Hague artist and art collector Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831–1915) was commissioned to paint the canvas in 1880 by an especially created Belgian company, S.A. du Panorama Maritime de la Haye. It took Mesdag four months to complete the work, with assistance from artists including Théophile de Bock (1851–1904), George Hendrik Breitner (1857–1923) and Bernardus Johannes Blommers (1845–1914).

Vincent went to view the Panorama Mesdag with De Bock in August 1881 and was extremely enthusiastic:

“Then I saw Mesdag’s panorama with him, that’s a work for which one must have the utmost respect. It put me in mind of what Bürger or Thoré, I think, said aboutRembrandt’s Anatomy lesson. That painting’s only fault is not to have any faults.” Read the complete letter

In other words: the painting’s only flaw is that it has none.

After the commissioning organisation went bankrupt, the well-to-do Mesdag acquired the work himself in 1886. Panorama Mesdag still exists in its original location and is open to the public.

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Relevant letters from Vincent

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  1. Teun Berserik en Feico Hoekstra

    Vincent van Gogh: de vroege jaren (stripboek)
    Amsterdam, 2012
  2. F. Leeman en J. Sillevis

    De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh
    Zwolle, 2005
  3. In de voetsporen van Van Gogh

    Wandeling bij De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh
    Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 2005
  4. Michiel van der Mast en Charles Dumas

    Van Gogh en Den Haag
    Zwolle, 1990
  5. Jan Meyers

    De jonge Vincent: jaren van vervoering en vernedering
    Amsterdam, 1989