The Mesdag Collection contains numerous watercolours, drawings and sketches. Several of these works went on display in this temporary exhibition.
In addition to being an avid collector, Hendrik Willem Mesdag also actively promoted watercolour art.
In 1876, he co-founded the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij (Dutch Drawing Society), an association that organised prominent watercolour exhibitions in The Hague. Mesdag worked passionately as Chairman of the society for nine years. He had a keen interest in the sketches and preliminary studies produced by his fellow artists.
Mesdag shared a love of the directness of these sketched works with other Hague School artists. He acquired many of these studies at auctions of the contents of studios, which were held following the death of an artist.