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Isaac Israels

Isaac Israels
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Isaac Israels

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Isaac Israels (1865–1934) was the son of the painter Josef Israels. Isaac Israels entered art school in The Hague at the age of thirteen, and in 1886 entered the Amsterdam Art Academy. Most of his life was spent in the city of Amsterdam. This oil on canvas was painted in the impressionist style. Portraying the night life of the Amsterdam dance halls, the Israels painting Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette, bears the label of M.L. De Bouer. De Bouer was a Dutch art dealer who was well known for representing Isaac Israels, the label providing firm provenance for the work of art.

Isaac Israels was particularly interested in conveying the idea of a moment captured in time and a sense of spontaneity. Israel’s painting conveys a sense of motion and an almost abrupt framing of the image. His artistry lies in the sense of immediacy he produces, his ability to place the viewer inside the image as though the passage of over a hundred years does not distance us from the dancers.

Israels was a close friend and associate of the painter George Hendrik Breitner. They both sought to portray the urban life surrounding them as a snapshot in time. The abrupt framing of images was meant to heighten this effect.

Although, forever associated in our minds with France, Van Gogh was of course Dutch. Impressionist and post impressionist painting took hold in Holland, especially in the Amsterdam school, which was linked to Les XX by the artist Jan Toorop, an associate of the Belgian painter James Ensor and a member of Les XX in Brussels.

Isaac Israels also traveled to London and Paris between 1903 and 1923, and briefly traveled to the Dutch East Indies. Upon his return he took over the studio of his father, and continued to work in an impressionist style.