Blog post

Henri Cassiers and his art advertising the Low Countries

Henri Cassiers' artworks promoted tourist locations in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Europeana Foundation

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.