Isaac was inspired by the fashionable life on the boulevards and beaches of Scheveningen. Around 1900 the fishing village Scheveningen had developed into a sophisticated beach resort popular for the Dutch high society. During the summers the village not only attracted wealthy tourists but artists alike: Isaac Israels was one of the many artists who spent his summers in Scheveningen during the Belle Epoque. From 1895 onwards Isaac would stay during the summer with his father Jozef Israels, who was in the habit of renting a villa at the Oranje Hotel. Even in the years when Isaac was living abroad, he would still return to The Hague and Scheveningen in the summer to work there. Here he spent many days painting the boulevard and the beach with its promenading haute bourgeoisie and other visitors.
He portrayed female bathers and had models pose for him, and his favourite theme (and that of his clients) was the colourful, lively depiction of elegantly dressed girls on donkey-rides accompanied by a young donkey driver. A number of variations on this theme are known. In the present lot we see a young lady delicately resting in a chaise longue with in the backdrop the beach. From An afternoon rest in the dunes we can capture Isaac's affection for Scheveningen, but also for female beauty. Throughout his entire career women - both working class and elegant ladies - fascinated the artist and played a central role in his oeuvre. Mesmerized by their elegance and features the artist's fascination for the dressed-up beauty in the present lot is obvious: he has paid careful attention to the depiction of her elegant features. The loose touch and subtle brush stroke, the use of light and the sitter's white dress create an intimate portrait of this young woman. In a letter to his friend Jacqueline Sandberg Isaac wrote: “How beautiful it was, those white garments of yours, I believe it is what I love most, white and paleness, but you cannot tell anyone else!” (see: J. Royaards-Sandberg, Ik heb je zoveel te vertellen. Brieven van en aan Lodewijk van Deyssel, Emile en Frans Erens en Isaac Israels, Baarn, 1981, pp. 212, 472).