I recently came across the work of the artist Jan Toorop and really found myself attracted to his imagery. I hadn’t heard of him but at the first glimpse immediately wanted to see more. Toorop was another of those artists who have not garnered as much attention outside his home in the Netherlands as you might expect when you consider the work and the influence it had on other artists of the time. Toorop’s work largely influenced the work of Gustav Klimt and other Symbolist painters of Northern Europe. You can see this in the piece above, Fatalisme.
Jan Toorop was a Dutch-Indonesian artist born on Java in 1858 who moved to the Netherlands as boy. He worked in many styles in his early career, sometimes in pure Realism but often following the trends of the time. He produced work in a decidedly Pointillist style as well as work that was purely Impressionistic. But in the early 1890’s he began to develop the style that garnered the attention of many other artists. It was Symbolist imagery based on Javanese motifs carried by dense and curvilinear line work. Eventually, this led to him working in an Art Nouveau style later in his career.
Toorop died in 1928. There is a Jan Toorop Research Center that has a site that displays the wide range of his work in a chronological fashion. I like this way of showing the work as you can see the evolution in style over time. His daughter, Charley Toorop, was a celebrated painter as well who produced a series of wonderful self-portraits throughout her life and had another very accomplished painter for a son (and grandson of Jan), Edgar Fernhout. A very talented family, indeed.
Compelling work for you to consider…