The innovative ideas about painting of the French impressionists were introduced into the Netherlands by the artists of the Hague School. This new style of painting was also adopted in Amsterdam by the young generation of artists of the late nineteenth century. Like their French colleagues, these Amsterdam painters put their impressions onto canvas with rapid, visible strokes of the brush. They focused on depicting the everyday life of the city. Famous painters among the Amsterdam Impressionists include George Hendrik Breitner, Willem Bastiaan Tholen, Willem de Zwart, Isaac Israëls, Jan Toorop and Willem Witsen.
Late nineteenth-century Amsterdam was a bustling centre of art and literature. Artists and writers gathered here to meet in cafés and at each other's houses and discuss the latest innovations in art and develop new ideas.