Museum Panorama Mesdag
The Hague / Netherlands
Museum Panorama Mesdag is na icon in The Haguw, with the Panorama of Scheveningen as its absolute highlight. The museum owes its name to the largest painting in the Netherlands, but also houses an impressive collection of other works by Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his wife Sientje Mesdag – van Houten. With many temporary exhibitions that connect the past to the present there is always something new to see in this museum, which remains endlessly fascinating for all visitors.
History of the Panorama
The Panorama of Scheveningen is over 140 years old. In 1880, Hendrik Willem Mesdag received a commission from a Belgian panorama firm for this 360-degree painting. He chose the village of Scheveningen, which he loved and could be reached on foot from his home in The Hague, as his subject. The location from which he painted was the highest dune in the village: the Seinpost Dune.
Biggest painting in the Netherlands
Taking up all of 1680 square metres, the Panorama of Scheveningen is the largest painting in the Netherlands. It is 14.6 metres tall and 114.5 metres in circumference. With the help of his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, George Hendrik Breitner, Théophile de Bock and Bernard Blommers – all of whom were renowned painters in their time – he was able to complete the Panorama of Scheveningen in only four months. This was a tremendous achievement.
The Panorama’s grand opening was held on 1 August 1881. One of the guests was Vincent van Gogh. He was extremely impressed by it, exclaiming in mock complaint that the canvas contained only one flaw: namely that it was flawless.
From panorama to museum
Mesdag’s panorama is one of the few to have been preserved and the oldest in the world to still be on display at its original location. With the emergence of cinema, the popularity of panoramas started to wane and Mesdag’s Panorama of Scheveningen went bankrupt only a few years after its opening. This upset the painter so much that he purchased the panorama and so became the museum’s first director in 1886. In the gallery leading to the panorama, he presented paintings by himself and his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, as well as their contemporaries. Both artists are considered to be among the most significant painters of the Hague School.+070-3106665
The Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo
Waterloo / Belgium
The Waterloo Panorama is a vast, circular building housing a canvas painted in 1912 by Louis Dumoulin, a renowned professional painter whose ‘Panorama du Tour du Monde’ (voyage around the world) was presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Its spectacular dimensions – 110 metres in circumference and 12 metres high – and the exceptional soundtrack plunge you right into the midst of the Battle of Waterloo. You will be surrounded on all sides by battle scenes, the clashing of sabres, cavalry charges and cannon blasts.
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