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Jan Toorop

(1858—1928)


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(b Purworedjo, Java, 20 Dec. 1858; d The Hague, 3 Mar. 1928).

Dutch painter, graphic artist, and designer. He was born in Java (at this time a Dutch colony) and moved to the Netherlands with his family when he was 13. Toorop's work reflected many of the main stylistic currents of his time and he was a leading figure in the Symbolist and Art Nouveau movements. His most characteristic paintings are literary subjects depicted with flowing lines, as in his masterpiece, The Three Brides (1893, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo), a ghostly scene with an exotic feeling that recalls his origins in Java. In 1905 he was converted to Catholicism and thereafter concentrated mainly on religious works. Toorop's prolific output included book illustrations, designs for stained glass, and posters. His daughter Charley Toorop (1891–1955) trained as a musician but began to paint in about 1914. Her early work was influenced by her father's Symbolism, but later her style became more solid and naturalistic.


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