oil on canvas: 65 x 40 cm
signed ‘Isaac Israels’ (lower right)
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Isaac Israels is recognised to be one of the leading artists of the Dutch Impressionist movement. Born in Amsterdam, he moved with his family to The Hague in 1872. There his father Josef, one of the most prominent representatives of The Hague School, taught him the fundamentals of painting. Isaac was proven to be very talented, he breathed and lived art. In 1877-1880 he briefly studied at the Fine Art Academy in The Hague. In 1881 he made his debut at the Exhibition of Living Masters in The Hague. His unfinished work “Practising the signal” (now in the Mesdag-Van Houten Collection) was purchased by the renowned painter and a friend of his father Hendrik Willem Mesdag.
Isaac’s need to distinguish himself from his father and his search for an authentic style led him to Amsterdam. There, during his enrolment at the National Academy for Fine Arts, Isaac studied with his future best friend and greatest rival George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923). Both, inspired by the fleeting moments of city life, soon become known as Amsterdam Impressionists.
From the late 1870s Isaac Israels visited the Salon des Artistes in Paris annually with his family. He became familiar with young and innovative Parisian artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1902) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Israels eventually moved from Amsterdam to Paris in 1903, where he remained for years. During these years he created numerous impressions of urban life. It is very likely that his fascination with the night life as a subject was sparked by his Parisian contemporaries.
Following the death of his father, Isaac Israels returned to The Hague in 1911 and settled in his ancestral home at the Koninginnegracht. He started working in his father’s studio at Laan van Roos en Doorn which was situated at the back of the family home. After settling in The Hague, Israels made a series of works in the popular Scala Theatre, located at the Wagenstraat. The directors provided him backstage access which allowed the artist to create several studies of the dressers, dancers and actors.
About H.P. Bremmer:
PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE H.P. BREMMER H.P. Bremmer (1871-1956) was one of the most influential figures in the Dutch art world during the first half of the twentieth century, which is reflected in many Dutch public and private collections and in his own collection. Through his unconvential approach, lectures about art-appreciation and numerous publications, he succeeded in winning a large audience for modern art. Not only was he able to arise enthusiasm among his audience for art, but he also stimulated them to start collecting themselves. His most successful pupil in this field was, without a doubt, Mrs. Hélène Kröller-Müller. In 1909, under Bremmer’s guidance, she bought her first three paintings by Van Gogh. Their alliance resulted in one of the largest private Dutch collections of modern art, which now forms the core of the Kröller-Müller museum in Otterlo, with circa 245 paintings and drawings by Vincent Van Gogh. The inventory numbers in this catalogue refer to the cardsystem that was used by H.P. Bremmer.
Beeldende Kunst, Jaargang 19, May 1932, no. 44, as ‘staand meisje’.