The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Jozef Israƫls, 1824-1911

Nationality: Dutch
Date of Birth: 1824.01.27
Place of Birth: Groningen
Date of Death: 1911.08.10
Place of Death: Le Hague


Jozef Israëls was a Dutch painter and printmaker. His son Isaac Israëls was also an artist.


Israëls was leader of the Hague School and was particularly well known for his watercolours, oil paintings and etchings of peasant life.

Whistler was attracted to Holland throughout his artistic career, exhibiting there first in 1863 when he was awarded a gold medal for his etchings, and he was friendly with Israëls. In October 1889 Whistler was awarded a gold medal for the paintings and etchings he contributed to the Exhibition of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. These included Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181), Arrangement in Yellow and Grey: Effie Deans (YMSM 183). However, although Israëls was on the committee, the Pennells claim that the decision to award Whistler a medal was in fact opposed by Israëls and Hendrik Willem Mesdag but insisted upon by James Maris.

In the autumn of 1901 Israëls was invited by Whistler to exhibit at the third exhibition of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers of which he was President.

In 1902 when Whistler was ill at The Hague in Holland, Israëls was amongst those to visit.


Israëls, Jozef, Spanje, een reisverhaal, The Hague, 1899; Veth, J., 'Modern Dutch Art: The Work of Jozef Israëls', The Studio, vol. 26, 1902, pp. 239-51; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; De Leeuw, R., J. Silleris and C. Dumas (eds.), The Hague School: Dutch Masters of the 19th Century, London, 1983; Je Dekkers, Dieuwert, 'Jozef Israëls', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 5 April 2002).