Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831 - 1915), 1870
oil on canvas,
90 cm x 180.5 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (gift of J. Poort)
Mesdag made his artistic debut with this painting in the 1870 Paris Salon, at the time the most prestigious annual exhibition of contemporary art. To everyone’s surprise, Mesdag – who had only been active as a painter for four years – won a gold medal and thus international recognition.