Like his counterparts in Paris or London in the late 1880s and early 1890s, Israels and his friends found urban living exhilarating. As a young man Isaac regularly travelled to Paris with his parents and sister to visit the annual Salon des Artistes Français. In June 1903 Isaac Israels left Amsterdam for Paris where he was introduced to the important fashion-house Paquin. After that summer he decided to stay in Paris, where he lived for the following ten years. The artist spoke French fluently, apparently even with a typically Parisian accent. Israels found a studio on the Boulevard de Clichy no. 9/Rue Alfred Stevens no. 10, adjacent to Montmartre and Israels approached the famous fashion houses on the Place Vendôme and Champs Elysées; he would paint there regularly until the outbreak of World War I. Paris, the cultural capital of Europe during the fin-de-siecle, played an important role in the artistic life of Isaac Israels. In Paris he was inspired by the beauty of the young 'Parisiennes' whom he encountered in parks like the Bois de Boulogne as in the present lot, but also on the Champs Elysées, on the Place Vendôme and in the café-chantants like the Moulin Rouge and the Moulin de la Galette. In his Parisian period he turned his impressions of the Parisian atmosphere into a large number of dynamic paintings, watercolours, pastels and drawings. This period may be considered the finest of his career.
At forty years old, Israels enjoyed his life in Paris. He had steady sales and a circle of friends that included his countryman Kees von Dongen (1877-1968) and the Fauves painters, as well as Théophile Steinlen (1859-1923), another denizen of Montmartre. Paintings of women at work continue to be a source of fascination for Israels, but his images from these years also encompass a wealth of scenes from cafes, bars and the local dancehalls; the Moulin de la Galette, located on the top of the hill in Montmartre, was a particular favorite. The present lot is a good example of his Parisian style. The light palette and rapid treatment of the subject matter are stylistic elements that were used by the French Impressionists, who led Isaac to change his palette and who's use of colour changed compared to the works he made in The Hague and Amsterdam. He started to prefer light and transparent oil paint. His style on the other hand remained unchanged: a dynamic way of painting, with bold and heavy brushstrokes, but with delicate results. However, his main focus was on the subject matter. To him, the characteristic portrayal of a situation remained the most important. The present lot characterizes the elegance and beauty of Parisian city life around the turn of the century. It is precisely this harmonious vitality that Israels achieves and makes tangible in the present painting.