The Mesdags were close friends to artists like Jozef Israëls, the Maris-brothers and Anton Mauve. They shared their artistic life and even made portraits of each other. The portraits in this presentation reflect their warm friendships and reveal stories from the art circles in The Hague.
The successful artist friends all had central positions at prominent artist associations in The Hague, like Pulchri Studio and the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij (the Dutch drawing society).
Artists from the younger generation like Thérèse Schwarze, Isaac Israëls and Jan Toorop, were also part of Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten’s social circle. They too were represented in the collection of the Mesdags, although to a lesser extent.
In this presentation, connection and friendship take centre stage. Attention is paid to the way the artists were represented by others (or themselves) and what their connection to the Mesdags exactly was. In total, there are nine characteristic portraits to admire, a combination of paintings and works on paper.