Isaac Lazarus Israels
"De naakte Maya"
Amsterdam 1865-1934 The Hague
NUDE WITH BACKLIGHT
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm.
Signed: lower right "Isaac Israels"
Provenance: Dr. Paul Rijkens, The Hague and Betchworth (Surrey), cat. no. 89; M.L. Maas collection, Rotterdam.
Literature: Dr. J. Reisel, Isaac Israels, Portrait of a Dutch Impressionist, Amsterdam 1967, p. 85 as Nude with backlight.
Israels held a lifelong fascination for the human figure. Although he earned his greatest fame with paintings of crowded streets, dance halls and elegant ladies strolling in a park, Israels also tackled the classical subject of the female nude. He shared this interest with his colleague and friend George Hendrik Breitner, as A.M. Hammacher remarks in his book ‘Amsterdamsche impressionisten en hun kring’ (1941). Israels’ nudes are more intimate in character and differ significantly from the crudely rendered, dramatic nudes of his friend Breitner. Hammacher praises the wonderful light and delicate charm of Israels' female nudes, that are completely without false sentimentality and brazen sensuality.
This painting is one of the most attractive nudes Israels painted. The subtle, glowing light, the beautifully rendered female figure and spontaneous, virtuoso brushwork betray a painter of proficient talent.