Henri Cassiers and his art advertising the Low Countries

illustration of a group of people walking by houses on bank of a canal

When we think of the Netherlands and the lowlands, we often think of windmills, picturesque villages and canals.

This image is in part due to Flemish artist Henri Cassiers, whose artworks were ofen used for publicity, promoting tourist locations within Belgium and the Netherlands.

His art appears on posters, postcards and other advertising materials, as well as in guide books.

Born in Antwerp in 1858, Cassiers’ career coincided with the rise of the tourist industry in which cities, towns and countries began to market themselves as destinations. The simultaneous rise of printing technologies meant his work was reproduced many times.

EXPLORE MORE: Travelling for pleasure: a brief history of tourism

Cassiers’ drawings and paintings show archetypal, idealised scenes of life in Flanders and the Netherlands – its countryside, villages and towns.

In particular, Cassiers was drawn to portray maritime life – shipping, fishing and boats. His illustrations for transatlantic shipping lines are vivid and striking, reflecting the look of early advertising through images with Art Nouveau influences.

EXPLORE MORE: Travel and tourism ephemera designs

By Adrian Murphy, Europeana Foundation

This blog is part of Europeana’s Discovering Europe season featuring cultural jewels and hidden gems from across the continent.

Feature image: Marken, Henri Cassiers, Zuiderzeemuseum, CC BY-SA

2 thoughts on “Henri Cassiers and his art advertising the Low Countries

  1. Hello,
    I enjoyed reading this article. It was very informative. Henri Cassiers was quite talented.
    I have a piece of artwork which might be that of Henri Cassiers, but l am uncertain. In my research, I cannot find any reference regarding this specific lithograph. If someone could help me identify it, then I would be most appreciative.
    Here is a link to view my framed artwork.

    1. Dear Paul, thanks for your message. It certainly looks like a Henri Cassiers. His work was reproduced many times. I’m afraid we can’t identify artworks here at Europeana, but perhaps contacting the Zuiderzee Museum, Museum of Ixelles or Museum Vleeshuis who may be able to help.

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