“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to…. The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.”
This is elaborated in detail found in the letter dating March, 1884 (Vincent was 30 years old) from Nuenen:
My strongest sympathies in the literary as well as in the artistic field are with those artists in whom I see the soul at work most strongly – Israëls, for example, is clever as a technician, but so is Vollon – but I like Israëls more than Vollon because I see something more in Israëls, something quite different from the masterly reproduction of the materials, something quite different from light and brown, something quite different from the colour – yet that something quite different is achieved by the precise rendering of the light effect, the material, the colour.
Vincent van Gogh wrote about Jozef Israëls who was a Dutch landscape painter with mastery in landscape. (Don’t know the other painter named Vollon (?) Click and find about Antoine Vollon – I know, I don’t like Wiki but it does the trick most of the times)
He was a leading figure of The Hague School. The story of Israels-family carries on after Vincent van Gogh’s death, when Jo-Bonger (Theo van Gogh’s wife) granted the Sunflowers painting to Isaac Israels which he made a homage paintings to Vincent van Gogh.
Isaac Israels Sunflowers Painting -> Click Here