Marine Scene with Fishing Boats on a Calm Sea

Hendrik Willem Mesdag

Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, United States

Around 1870, when he won a gold medal at the Paris Salon, Mesdag began to explore the life of the sea at the port of Scheveningen, near the Hague. His detailed study allowed him to capture the varying character of ships and the textures of waves. Here, he explores the different textures of grey in the billows of waves and clouds and the arc of birds as boats turn towards the viewer.

The son of a banker, Mesdag became a painter in mid-life. At the age of 33 he began to paint full-time and soon specialized in shore scenes. Praised by Vincent Van Gogh, Mesdag influenced a generation of artists both because he taught them and because he prepared their way by promoting Dutch painting abroad, especially in France.


  • Title: Marine Scene with Fishing Boats on a Calm Sea
  • Creator: Hendrik Willem Mesdag
  • Physical Dimensions: 27 3/16 x 17 5/16 in. (69 cm x 44 cm)
  • Provenance: Crocker Art Museum, gift of Mary Ann and Jan Beekhuis
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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