Isaac Israëls (1865-1934), together with George Hendrik Breitner, was the leading representative of the group of Amsterdam Impressionists. He painted fragments of life he chanced across in the capital’s shopping streets, coffee houses and café-chantants, where busy urban living was played out. In a few apt charcoal lines or quick, spontaneous brushstrokes, with subtle colour accents, he captured everything he saw. Israëls also painted beach scenes at Scheveningen and was an adept portrait artist. Israëls moved to Paris in 1904, establishing his studio near Montmartre and just yards away from the studio of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec whom he admired, as he also did Edgar Degas. As in Amsterdam, he painted the Parisian specific motifs: the public parks, cafes, cabarets and bistros, as well as such subjects as fairgrounds and circus acrobats. Likewise he sought out the fashion houses Paquin and Drecoll to continue his studies of the world of fashion.
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