Jozef Israëls

The painter Joseph Israëls 1824 – 1911
The life of Joseph Israëls
Joseph was born on January 2, 1824, as the 3rd son of Hartog Abraham Israëls, stockbroker, and Mathilde Polack in Groningen. The family later consisted of a total of 10 children. His parents belonged to the rich Jewish community and lived at the Fish Market 86. The house of birth shows an inscription that Joseph was born there. It was in the expectation that Joseph would become a rabbi his drawing talent was so great, however, that Joseph already received drawing lessons at the age of 8 from C.B. Buijs. Who did not had many confidence in Joseph, he thought Joseph was far too sloppy.

At the age of 11, Joseph Israëls is taught by Jacob Bruggink at the Minerva Academy in Groningen. At the age of 18 Joseph was allowed to go to Amsterdam where he went to live with his aunt in the Jodenbreestraat, where she had a baptismal shop. From 1843 to 1845 Joseph was taught by Jan Adam Kruseman and Jan Willem Pieneman at the Royal Academy in Amsterdam. In 1845 Joseph left for Paris, where he stayed until 1947 and went to the Ecole des Beaux Arts. There he met Johannes Jongkind and painters from Barbizon. After Paris Joseph returns to Amsterdam.

When Joseph left for Zandvoort in 1845 to recover from a disease, he was so strucked by the simple heavy fishing life that it influenced his paintings. When Joseph exhibited in London in 1862, he received praising reviews and his paintings were sold well.

On May 07, 1863, Joseph married Aleida Schaap in Amsterdam (1843-1894). Together they have 3 children, Mathilda Anna (1864-1945), Izaac Lazarus (1865-1934) and Rebecca Maria, who was born in 1866 but died the same year.

In 1871, the Israëls family moved to The Hague, where Joseph became friends with Hendrik Willem Mesdag. Together they are involved in the founding of the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij and the Pulchri Studio in 1879.

In 1879 Joseph was knighted into the crown order of Italy.

When his wife Aleida dies in 1894, Joseph leaves with his son Isaac and his friend Frans Eerens for Spain and North Africa.

Despite the fact that Jozef Israëls mainly lives in The Hague, he still often comes to Groningen, his place of birth. After his death in Scheveningen on August 12, 1911, a statue was made by sculptor Abraham Wesselink on the Hereplein in Groningen. During the Second World War, this statue was removed by the Germans, but in 1947, the municipality reinstated it. It is made after the painting by Joseph, “along the mother’s grave”.

Jozef Israëls was not only a painter, etcher and lithographer, but also a writer under the pseudonym J. Maalman.
The work of Joseph Israëls
Jozef was a landscape painter because of the lessons he received from C.W. Buijs, Jacob Bruggink, Jan Adam Kruseman and Jan Willem Pieneman from the age of 8. But after Joseph had enjoyed classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he became a romantic history painter.

When Joseph Israëls ended up in Zandvoort because of illness he started to focus on painting the real difficult life of the fishermen and their families.

Joseph switched to realistic painting, which is characteristic of the Hague School, which he later joined once he went to live and work in The Hague.

At the end of Joseph’s life Joseph once again paints landscapes and subjects from the Jewish religion of God, including the painting “Jewish wedding”.

Joseph taught his son Isaac the artistic profession of which he wrote the following: “With the help of the Lord, he will become a better painter than his father.

Other pupils of Jozef Israëls included David Artz and Bernard Blommers.
Would you like a masterpiece by Jozef on your wall?
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