Jozef Israëls painting the ‘Children of the sea’

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Jozef Israëls painting the ‘Children of the sea’

Jozef Israels began as a traditional painter of histories, but Jozef Israels very quickly drawn to the French and German styles of the Romantic movement. Around 1855, Jozef Israels’ paintings increasingly turned to nature. Jozef Israels’ favourite subjects in the period were the underclasses, such as the family life of poor North Sea fisherman in the Netherlands – initially in Zandvoort and Katwijk, and later in Scheveningen. Jozef Israels’ also painted many portraits of Dutch Jews and people of other backgrounds. In 1871, Jozef Israels settled permanently in The Hague, where Jozef Israels became the wise old man of The Hague School.

Jozef Israels made the trials and tribulations of the Dutch fishermen and their families one of his main themes. Here Jozef Israels exposed a social sensitivity sometimes bordering on sentimentalism.

Jozef Israels was an extremely successful painter, as reflected by Jozef Israels’ many awards and other honours, both nationally and internationally. Jozef Israels’ works found particular favour in the English-speaking world, where they were sold (sometimes by the dozen) to wealthy collectors in Britain and North America. As Jozef Israels’ popularity grew, so too did appreciation for the Dutch art of the oil painting.

Children playing on the beach are a frequent subject in Jozef Israels’ work. It is a genre sometimes grouped in the 19th century as the ‘Children of the sea.’ These works bu Jozef Israels date from around 1863 to 1875, a lighter period in his oeuvre. They are both light in colour and light in tone: carefree children playing, domestic bliss, and bucolic motherhood are recurring themes. Many of Jozef Israels’ paintings from other periods are more sombre, although they, too, reflect Jozef Israels’ social sensitivities.

This painting by Jozef Israels is sold. View our current collection here.