The Amsterdamse Joffers refer to a group of Amsterdam artists who studied at the State Academy of Art in Amsterdam at the end of the 19th century. There they were taught by Professor August Allebé, among others. The female artists – all from wealthy Amsterdam families – were not expected to work to support themselves at that time. Going out into the country with an easel and paint box was inappropriate. That is why they found their subjects in their studios. In the intimacy of their own homes, they worked on a body of work that in no way reflected the changes taking place in the art world around them. Until late in the 20th century, the Joffers were important representatives of the afterlife of Impressionism, each with a clearly recognizable style of its own and related to each other through mutual education and exchanges of experience.
The ladies saw each other every week for tea with the portraitist Thérèse Schwartze, the aunt of Joffer Lizzy Ansingh. The group felt connected to Schwarzte through her way of working and her independent way of life. The members of the Amsterdam Joffers – their name was coined by the art critic Albert Plasschaert – were Lizzy Ansingh, Jo Bauer-Stumpff, Ans van den Berg, Nelly Bodenheim, Marie E. Regteren van Altena, Coba Ritsema, Coba Surie and Betsy Westendorp. Osieck. Lizzy Ansingh is known as the front woman of the Amsterdam Joffers, which is probably due to the fact that she was the niece of Thérèse Schwartze, who was very famous at the time. Lizzy learned to paint from her aunt, with whom she lived in the house on the Prinsengracht from the age of six, and then attended the Academy from 1894 to 1897. She specialized in painting dolls. Nelly Bodenheim was the one who deviated from the Joffer style and became known for her illustrations for children's books in a silhouette-like black-and-white style. The Joffers usually painted in the impressionistic style that was common at the time, in which the influence of Tachtigers such as George Breitner and Floris Verster is sometimes noticeable. Favorite subject is the still life, usually a vase with flowers. The younger sister of Lizzy Ansingh, 'Sorella', – 'sister of' the other Ansingh – is sometimes counted among the Joffers.
The Amsterdam Joffers were not a movement in the sense that they used a common style or shared the same ideas about painting or art. They did have a lot of contact with each other – they met and corresponded. The letters are not about 'higher subjects' like art and painting, but about how Lizzy or Thérèse's work hangs in an exhibition, or whether they longed to see each other again. Stumpff writes that she is "anxious about working under Allebé", but that she is "very lighthearted" with him. Apparently she has trouble painting, or she has a lack of self-confidence or a low opinion of her own abilities. The ladies exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum and in societies such as Arti et Amicitiae, Pulchri and St. Lucas. The art criticisms were mostly positive, but the Joffers were too conservative for real innovation. They would mainly become role models for other female artists, especially from the 1970s into the 20th century.