Isaac Israels (1865-1934)
Isaac Israels (1865-1934)

Rue Clignancourt, Paris

Isaac Israels (1865-1934)
Rue Clignancourt, Paris
signed 'Isaac Israels' (lower right)
oil on canvas
54.5 x 38 cm.
Painted circa 1904.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 16 October 2007, lot 238.
Kunsthandel A.H. Bies, Eindhoven, where acquired by the present owner.
Anna Wagner, Isaac Israels, Venlo 1985, p. 73, 72, as: Probably Rue Castiglione, Paris (where dated 1904).

Brought to you by

Else Valk
Else Valk

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

During Isaac's first visit to Paris with his parents in 1878 he became fond of the French art and culture. Yearly the family would return to visit the Salon des Artistes. Isaac was well informed about the new artistic movements in the French capital and met various innovative artists, like Stéphane Mallarmé, Berthe Morisot, Odilon Redon and Emile Zola in 1889. It is not surprising that he decided to move there permanently in 1904. Besides the subjects he found inside the fashion houses, he also found his inspiration nearby his studio on Boulevard de Clichy 9, the Bois de Bologne, the Place Vendôme and the cafes and dance halls of Montmartre.

Israels was fascinated by the mundane life of Paris and it suited his energetic, exuberant style of painting. The pulsing life in the streets is an important aspect of Israels' urban impression. Israels got intrigued with street life while he lived in Amsterdam and loved to explore the Parisian streets. He painted the ascending Rue Clignancourt several times. The present lot was painted around 1904 and shows the vibrant life on the Rue Clignancourt. Please compare the present lot to a similar painting 'Elegant lady on a balcony on Rue Clignancourt' in the collection of Kunsthandel Ivo Bouwman, The Hague (fig. 1), painted from the same balcony. Unfortunately it is not known from which balcony Isaac made these paintings.

The palette Israels used in Paris is more French than the palette he used in Amsterdam. The oils are light and translucent in clear green, soft yellow, and pink beige. Israels skillfully records the swarming life on the sunlit Rue Clignancourt with all the dray carts, horse and carriages, tilt-carts and pedestrians. The artist preferred to take a high view-point to provide himself with an artistic challenge to capture the street with all of its busyness. Israels started to use this innovative aerial perspective while he lived and worked in Amsterdam. Influenced by the French impressionists and the rise of photography, Israels created wide compositions with cut off sides that gave his paintings a photographic and momentary mood. With his freely applied strokes and unique power of observation, Israels has captured the bustling and lively activities on the Rue Clignancourt.

More from Impressionist and Modern Art

View All
View All