Mauritz Frederik De Haas

American, 1832 - 1895
Born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1832, de Haas enrolled as a student of Louis Meijir’s at the Rotterdam Academy. Later, at age 25, he was selected as the official artist for the Royal Dutch Navy. Painting in both oils and watercolors, he became known for his seascape and shore views of French, Dutch and British coastal areas. With his strong artistic background in the Dutch Marine painting techniques, he immigrated to America in 1859 where he achieved prominence painting scenes of the coastal maritime activities of New York and Boston. He became an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1863 and a Full Member in 1867. He exhibited with the Academy until his death in 1895. During the American Civil War de Haas was commissioned by Admiral David Farragut to document important naval battles. He later exhibited widely both in America and Europe, becoming one of the most important and influential sea painters to emerge from the American School of 19th Century marine artists. His excellence in portraying mood with the changing light and time of day is rivaled only by very few such as William Bradford and Fitz Hugh Lane.
After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, a pupil of Spoel, Bosboom and with Louis Meyer at the Hague, he studied water-color in London, 1851. Mauritz Frederick Hendrik de Haas soon established a fine reputation as a marine painter. At the age of twenty seven he immigrated to the United States and set up a studio in New York. In his adopted homeland, he first became known for his European views and then for his scenes painted along the Northeast Coast. Among the latter were views of Long Island: Orient, Montauk, Peconic, Westhampton, Bridgehampton, and Southampton, as well as points along the Long Island Sound.

De Haas felt a special affinity for Long Island, which resembled his native Holland in its terrain and ever-changing effects of light and atmosphere. He was determined to capture the full range of these effects, from bright sunshine reflected on the rippling waves of Long Island Sound to the cool moonlight shining on the beach at Southampton, and, according to one contemporary critic, he succeeded: "His pencil is equal facile whether portraying a storm on the coast, moonlight effects at sea, or brilliancy of the sunset hour." In painting moonlight scenes, the same source claimed, de Haas had "few equals."

Boston Athenaeum
National Academy of Design
Maryland Historical Society
Paris Exposition, 1878

Who Was Who in American Art, p 157
Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, v II, p 194
Index of Artists, by Mallett, p 106
Art Across America, "Two Centuries of Regional Painting", by Gerdts
A Biographical Index of American Artists, p 28
Mantle Fielding's, Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptures and Engravers, p 216

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries,
Mauritz F. De Haas was a talented marine artist who attracted considerable attention in the late nineteenth century along with his older brother William De Haas. Born in Holland, De Haas studied at The Hague and sold paintings to the Queen of Holland before immigrating to America in 1859. After settling in New York, he was commissioned by Admiral Farragut to paint naval scenes of the Civil War, and he soon gained prominence for his ability to portray the sea in a dramatic light. He exhibited at the Boston Art Club, the National Academy of Design, and the Brooklyn Art Association, as well as the Chicago Columbian Exhibition of 1893 and the Paris Exposition of 1889. Today, his work is counted among the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the New York Historical Society, and the National Academy of Design Museum.

Biography courtesy of Questroyal Fine Art LLC,
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