An exhibition featuring 50 etchings by renowned Groninger artist Jozef Israëls will open to the public in the synagogue on the Folkingestraat on Friday, the 7th of June.
Translation by Thomas Ansell
Born in Groningen, Israëls (1824-1911) was one of the best-known Dutch painters of the 19thcentury. As reported in the Dagblad van het Noorden, the exhibition, “50x Israëls: het succes in fotogravures” (“50x Israëls: success in etchings”), will consist of reproductions made 115 years ago of such renowned paintings as “Langs Moeders Graf” (“Next to Mother’s Grave”), “De Schipbreukeling” (“The Castaway”) , “Het Scheepje” (“The Little Ship”), and “De Joodsche Wetschrijver” (“The Jewish Law Writer”).
The etchings were provided by Chris van Weel from Nijmegen, who is a descendent of Israëls. According to the synagogue, in 1904, on the occasion of his 80thbirthday, the artist received a folio with reproductions of his own work. After that, the folio stayed in Israëls’ family.
Israëls was born on the Vismarkt in Groningen in 1824 to a prosperous Jewish family. His parents had initially wished that he become a Rabbi, but he was drawn to the arts instead. Israëls was a member of the Hague School, an art movement which pushed back against romanticism in the 1800s and focussed on realism. Israëls’ son, Isaac, also became a renowned painter.
The reproductions will be available to view up until the end of September and will also focus on the Jewish-Groninger roots of Israëls, the emancipation movement from his time, and the background to his success as an artist.
Jozef Israëls is one of many prominent Jewish citizens in the history of the northern Netherlands, so if you are curious to learn more about him and Jewish culture in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland, be sure to check out our three-part series, Jewish History of the North.
Did you know that world-famous Dutch artists like Vincent van Gogh, M.C. Escher and Lawrence Alma-Tadema can all trace their artistic roots back to the north? You can read all about the role the region has played in Dutch art history right here at The Northern Times.