Louis Apol on Nova Zembla

In 1880, the Hague artist Louis Apol (1850-1936) made the journey of a lifetime. He was part of a scientific expedition to Nova Zembla and spent four months aboard the polar schooner Willem Barents. As a winter landscape specialist, this journey offered him the ultimate opportunity to study and visualize the most extraordinary ice formations and desolate, snowy landscapes up close during a harsh journey.


“Apol draws and sketches everywhere; even on the hunt he does not fail to take his sketchbook with him”

The exhibition shows a selection from the 200 pencil drawings, sketches and watercolors that Apol made during his trip. Through the eyes of this unusual crew member, the visitor experiences the adventurous expedition to Nova Zembla; a unique insight into life on board the polar schooner, into the artist’s working process and attention to the special animals, people and natural phenomena he encountered along the way.


Attention is also paid to the panorama painting that Apol made in 1896 based on his Nova Zembla sketches. It was seen with great success for years in the Panorama building in Amsterdam and disappeared from the radar around 1930. What happened to this immense canvas?


Source: Captain Nova Zembla’s Travel Report



November 1, 2019 – March 1, 2020 all-day



Panorama Mesdag, The Hague


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