As the son of the renowned nestor of the Hague School Josef Israels, Isaac Israels had for many years been searching for his own individual style of painting before discovering it around 1890. He would be remembered as a Dutch impressionist who was an equal to most of his French contemporaries. In 1887 he moved from The Hague to Amsterdam, where he was quickly accepted by the circle of the Eighties Movement ('de Tachtigers'), a group of likeminded, progressive artists and writers. Together with one of his new friends, the essayist Frans Erens (1857-1935), he became acquainted with the artistic currents of his time as well as with several French celebrities in Paris in 1889. Following the death of his mother in 1894 he travelled to Spain and North-Africa in the company of his father and Erens. Back in Amsterdam in October of the same year, he was granted a license to place his easel on the streets in order to study city life en plein air.
In June 1903 Isaac Israels left Amsterdam for Paris where he was introduced at the important fashion-house Paquin. In a letter to Miss G.H. Marius he writes: 'Ik ben (.) hoofdzakelijk naar Parijs gegaan, omdat ik daar een goed introductie had bij een groot couturier, en zoo komt men van he teen tot het ander.' Israels resides in the Hotel Le Peletier on the Rue Petit Champs. After that summer he decided to stay in Paris, where he lived for the following ten years.
Israels found a studio on the Boulevard de Clichy no. 9. In that period he turned his impressions of the artistic Parisian atmosphere into numerous dynamic paintings, watercolours, pastels and drawings. For his subject matter he was mainly inspired by the beauty of the young 'Parisiennes', whom he encountered in parks like the Bois de Boulogne and Parc Monceau. But he would also look for subjects on the Champs Elysées and the Place Vendöme, in the café-chantants like the Moulin Rouge and the Moulin de la Galette and in restaurants such as Le Perroquet. The present lot is a great example of Israels' mature painterly style, which had fully developed during his Parisian years. Isaac had mentioned to his good friend Henry Asselin that he painted for his own amusement and pleasure: 'Je peins pour m'amuser'. The enormous joy that cosmopolitan Paris gave him, the hustle and bustle and dynamic atmosphere lifted his work to new heights. The bright, colourful pallet and attractive mundane motives of his Parisian period are all very much evident in the present painting.