Isaac Israels (Amsterdam, 1865 – The Hague, 1934) is a master of immortalizing everyday scenes. Just look at these little girls with legs dangling as they sit on a bench in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark. The artists favourite subjects are the hidden beauties of urban life, a passion Isaac Israels shares with his close confidant George Breitner. Both painters are prominent Amsterdam Impressionists. Fascinated by the dark side of the city, Israels paints many canvases of the city’s bustling nightlife, with its tireless cafe-goers and dancing girls. But the light of day also holds its charms for Israels: Isaac Israels also paints passers-by along the canals and in the parks. All in all, Isaac Israels ‘s paintings present an exquisite snapshot of the Amsterdam of the fin du siècle. Among the impressionists, Isaac Israels is known for his particularly intense colours.
Isaac Israels doesn’t spend much time at the art school; although he is taught briefly at the studio of his father, Jozef Israels (a noted painter of The Hague School), Isaac is essentially self-taught. From his father, Isaac Israels inherits not only his artistic genes, but his wanderlust as well. Isaac lives in Amsterdam, Paris, the Dutch East Indies, and London before returning to his childhood home in 1923, where Isaac Israels father’s studio becomes his own.
Like Amsterdam, his new living environment becomes a major source of inspiration. The Hague of the time is booming, and Scheveningen grows to become a beach resort of world renown that Israels frequents. Isaac Israels paints many beach scenes there, from wealthy ladies parading down the Boulevard to children riding donkeys along the beach.