The Panorama Mesdag in The Hague is not that very well known, but it is one of the most unique tourist attractions in the Netherlands. Painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, it is one of the most fascinating sights you will see in the country.
The panorama is in a specially designed museum in The Hague. You will see the museum next to the Hilton hotel. From the center of The Hague and Palace Noordeinde, you can walk over to the museum.
What to See
It is a cylindrical painting 40 meters in diameter (120 meters in circumference) and 14 meters high. There is an observation gallery in the museum. From this vantage point, an illusion is produced. You will feel that you are on a sand dune looking at the village of Scheveningen in the late 19th century.
It also appears that you are viewing the beaches and the sea. What helps make the Panorama Mesdag in The Hague convincing is the fake terrain at the painting’s foundation.
Hendrik Willem Mesdag (23 February 1831 – 10 July 1915) is one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time. Mesdag was born in Groningen to Klaas Mesdag and his wife Johanna Wilhelmina van Giffen. His father was a banker but also an amateur painter. He was the one who encouraged his son to paint. Hendrik would go on to marry Sina van Houten in 1856.
When his wife’s father died, the couple inherited a considerable sum of money. This allowed Hendrik to retire from banking and focus on becoming a painter.
It was in 1880 when a Belgian firm commissioned him to make a panorama. He was able to finish the task in one year with some help from students. In 1886, the company that commissioned him went bankrupt. Hendrik would go on to buy the painting.
The entrance fee is 6.50 Euros for adults and 5.5.0 for students. For children 3 to 12 years olds, the fee is 3 Euros.
The painting is the oldest panorama painting surviving from the 19th century. It is the largest surround painting you can find in Holland. The view is such that you will see the sun come through and the clouds go pass.
The Panorama Mesdag in The Hague is one of the most unique artworks you will ever see. The truth is that words cannot do it justice. The panorama is something that has to be seen and experienced.