30.5.16

Mata Hari's Painting


In 1916 the Dutch artist Isaac Israëls paints Margaretha Zelle alias Mata Hari. That year they both live in The Hague. Israëls lived from 1913 to 1915 in London and before that in Paris. He did not paint her in her "work attire", but dressed as a lady in a black cloak with fur. It is unknown how Israëls and Zelle met. Did she approach him? Had they met before in Paris or London? The painting was purchased by the Kröller-Müller Museum. The museum is based on the private art collection of Anton Kröller and his wife Helene Müller. Kröller became rich as a trader in Word War I and had regular meetings with representatives of secret services.