Lot 8
  • 8

Isaac Israels

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Isaac Israels
  • Picnic in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris
  • signed ISAAC ISRAELS lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 43.5 by 60cm., 17 by 23½in.


Leslie Smith Gallery, The Hague (by 2001)
Private collection, The Netherlands (purchased from the above; sale: Christie's, Amsterdam, 25 April 2007, lot 197)
Simonis & Buunk, Ede
Purchased from the above by the present owner in 2011


Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Isaac Israels, Hollands Impressionist, 1999-2000, no. 169, illustrated in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1905, shortly after the artist relocated to Paris from Amsterdam, the present work is a particularly harmonious scene of urban leisure in the turn-of-the-century city. After initially staying at the Hôtel Le Peletier, Israels then moved definitively to his Montmartre studio at no. 9 Boulevard de Clichy. The artist received an introduction to the Paris fashion world thanks to the Amsterdam couturier Hirsch, so it was natural that he was drawn to the fashion houses Paquin and Drécoll near the Opéra Garnier, exploring afresh subjects which had captivated him in Amsterdam (see lot 3).

Just as Israels had found inspiration in the daily life of the Oosterpark in Amsterdam, the Bois de Boulogne became one of his favourite subjects after moving to Paris. The composition evokes quintessential scenes of Parisian leisure in late nineteenth-century art, including A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat of 1884. Under the influence of Impressionism Israels' palette became more luminous, and the absence of horizon, energetic execution and not least the déjeuner sur l'herbe subject of the present work are all hallmarks of Impressionism. Painting wet-on-wet with broad, bold brushstrokes, Israels masterfully captures the scene with a great economy of means. At the same time he succeeds in giving his figures a tangible presence, not least in the anatomy of the seated man cutting bread.