A. J. W. Harloff, The Hague (by 1934) Sale: Fred. A. van Braam, Amsterdam, 17 December 1946, lot 107 Acquired at the above sale by the family of the present owner; thence by descent
The Hague, Pulchri Studio, 1934, no. 62 (as Indische hofdanseressen)
The present work depicts a group of elegant Javanese dancers at rest. Behind them, hanging from a frame, are two gongs - part of the gamelan ensemble. Named for gamel (meaning 'hammer'), the hypnotic effects and distinctive sound of gamelan music enchanted western audiences, notably the composer Claude Debussy.
The darker palette of this work suggests it was likely painted circa 1916 before Israels' journey to the Dutch East Indies, when he was in close contact with Indonesians in the Netherlands.
Oil on canvas fully laid on panel. The panel is flat, even, and ensuring a stable support.
There is some minor frame rubbing along the extreme four framing edges, mostly covered by the frame, and two isolated, small spots of surface dirt are visible in the left hand side of the composition (as visible in the catalogue illustration).
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals an even layer of residual varnish and some minor, isolated spots of cosmetic retouching along the extreme framing edges. The main composition appears to be untouched. This work could benefit from some light surface cleaning. Otherwise, this work is in good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."