Visitors will see paintings by one of the most respected Dutch painters of his time, the "Jewish Rembrandt", Joseph Israels; Germans Max Lieberman and Lesser Uri; representative of the Barbizon school of painting Jean-Francois Millet.
Farmers working the land, shepherds grazing their flocks and fishermen returning from the seas are the main characters of the paintings in this exhibition. Many of the characters in the works of art presented here evoke deep sympathy for the plight of the common people. What attracted such different personalities to the topic of simple peasant life? Each of the three artists studied in Paris and was heavily influenced by the naturalism and realism of the Barbizon school, most notably Jean-François Millet (who is also featured in this exhibition). The bourgeoisie despised Millet, claiming that the stench of sweat and earth was almost felt in his works. While Uri was well acquainted with the hardships of the working class, Israel and Lieberman were driven by a strong sense of compassion that reflected the winds of socialism blowing among the educated elite of Western Europe and thus turned the western shores of the Netherlands into their own Barbizon.