The unexplored landscape around The Hague (as far as Gouda) was an inexhaustible source for the gentlemen. In fine, delicate nuances they managed to suggest the limitless space of a Dutch (water) landscape and capture changing skies. The many windmills and of course the fishing fleet of Scheveningen with the changing cloud formations above the water are the most important subjects in paintings and watercolors. Catching shrimp along the water's edge or scenes on the beach are also common.
'The big gray people', Vincent van Gogh called it in his letters to Theo. Van Gogh's description was not intended to be negative. He was full of admiration because they looked at the 'ordinary' landscape around them with 'new' eyes and recorded in quick, spontaneous brushstrokes their impressions of mood and atmosphere, the seasons, the weather, the moments of the day. Anton Mauve was Van Gogh's cousin.
Willem Roelofs is called the great inspiration of the Hague School. He was one of the first to travel from his hometown of Brussels to Barbizon in 1850, where he was inspired by the painters who captured nature 'En plein air': a revolution in landscape painting and showed a break with the ideal image by drawing from observation. drawing and painting. This French group of artists worked in the forests around the town of Barbizon south of Paris around 1850.
Most artists already knew each other from meetings in the Pulchri Studio that Weissenbruch and Roelofs had founded in 1847. That also became the headquarters where they organized art reviews, farces, exhibitions and winter festivals. Painters who joined later had met each other in or around Oosterbeek. Later, Mauve and Israel, among others, go to Laren.
Due to the influence of Impressionism, the use of color becomes lighter and brighter over time and the brushwork becomes looser. After their heyday, the Amsterdam Impressionists, Symbolists and Neo-Impressionists became more important in influencing art in the Netherlands and beyond.
Sources: Artsalon.nl Wiki and the book The Hague School by De Gruyter.