The Balalaika Players by Isaac Israels
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The Balalaika Players 1890 - 1910

Isaac Israels

Original oil on canvas
79 ⨯ 62.50 cm
Price on request


  • About the artworkAbout artwork & Artist
    Jozef Israëls’s son, Isaac Israëls was raised on a diet of painting and travel. At thirteen, he entered art school in The Hague, where his prodigious talent was soon noticed. In 1881, he began a painting that was purchased before it was completed by Hendrik Willem Mesdag. In 1886, Israëls enrolled at Amsterdam’s Art Academy, where he was considered ‘too good’.

    Israëls often spent the summer months with his father in Scheveningen, where he painted seaside scenes in bright colours. In Amsterdam, Israëls spent much of his time with George Hendrik Breitner. Both were fascinated by the idea of portraying city life by capturing a passing moment in time. To convey the sense of a snapshot, they cropped their subjects abruptly. Israëls was in Paris, London and briefly in the Dutch East Indies from 1903 to 1923. He then returned to The Hague and took over his father's studio. There he remained, producing impressionist paintings in light colours.

    Israëls was a frequent visitor to theatres and concerts, which allowed him to depict the vivid lives of artists of all genres from all around the world. This painting portrays two folk artists from the cossack orchestra, which performed in Paris around 1910.
  • About the artist

    Isaac Israels was born in Amsterdam in 1865, the son of the painter Jozef Israels. Early in his life, his family moved to The Hague. During his life as an artist Isaac exchanged ‘the grey' pallet of the Haagse school (the Hague school) for a more colourful and lively pallet.
    Israels was associated with the Amsterdam Impressionism movement.
    Between 1880 and 1882 he studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, where he met George Hendrik Breitner who was to become a lifelong friend.
    He returned to Amsterdam where he was asked to join the Kring der Tachtigers (the group of Eighty). Cityscapes featuring Amsterdam and Parisian street life, fashionable ladies, the interiors of cafés and sewing workshops are amongst his most popular scenes. He is considered to be one of the most important Dutch impressionists.
    Isaac Israels died in 1934 in The Hague.

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