Archives for Jan Toorop

Gemeente-Museum Den Haag Announces a Major Retrospective of Jan Toorop

The Gemeente-Museum Den Haag is showing the first major retrospective of works by Jan Toorop, one of the most popular Dutch artists from first half of the 20th century.

A highly prolific artist, Toorop is instantaneously recognisable to art lovers as a precursor of Art Nouveau thanks to his famous poster for Delft salad oil. He has however worked in other styles and the retrospection is focused on showcasing the diversity of his talent.

toorop 3Jan Toorop, November Sun, 1888, Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 74.5 cm, in gesso frame painted white, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Jan Toorop was one of the most influential artists of his time, pioneering the advance of modern art and counted contemporaries as Gustav Klimt and Mondrian as his followers. It was Toorop who introduced Amsterdam to Luminism shortly after 1900. (Luminism is an American landscape painting style popular in the early part of the 20th century which emphasised effects of light in landscapes, through the use of aerial perspective and concealment of visible brushstrokes). He was also one of the driving forces behind the creation of Dutch avant-garde artists’ association the Moderne Kunstkring and designed elaborate programmes for churches.

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Jan Toorop (design), Delft Salad Oil, 1895, Poster, colour lithograph, 86.5 x 56 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Toorop’s intrepid appropriation of French Pointillists’ technique and his further switch to Symbolism that have seen his reinvent his own art, made him the main innovator of his day and a source of inspiration for other artists.

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Fatalism, 1893, Black and yellow chalk, pencil and paint on brownish paper, 60 x 75 cm, Kröller-Müller Museum.
Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Gerard van Wezel, guest curator at the museum, has spent over 30 years researching Toorop’s distinctive style and evolving career and his findings majorly contributed to the creation of the exhibition. His researched reveled that even though the artist have experimented with different styles, his individual style prevailed and put a stamp on all his works, keeping them consistent despite of weaving approaches.

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De toi, Vil Animal – pour pétrir un génie, O fangeuse grandeur! sublime ignominie! (You, Vile Animal – to mould a genius, Oh, filthy greatness! Sublime infamy!), 1891 Black and coloured chalk, pencil and coloured crayons, heightened with white wax crayon, on paper, 54.4 x 35.4 cm Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Jan Toorop’s major works have been included thanks to loans and financial backing secured with the help from Fonds 21 and the VSBfonds, Hein Fonds, Stichting
 De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds and Stichting Gifted Art. The 200 pieces strong exhibition, including all of Toorop’s main artworks from collections in the Netherlands and abroad, reveal him as a truly modern artist and a major player in the international avant-garde of the period.

by Magda Pirowska

Exhibition opens on the February 26 until May 29 After the show in The Hague, the exhibition will travel in modified form to Villa Stuck in Munich, Museum Bröhan in Berlin and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Colour Unleashed – Modern Art in the Low Countries show in The Hague


Mondrian show SS1

 Portret van Dolly, 1909 by Kees van Dongen,

EXPLORING the influence of the French Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists, such as Claude Monet, Paul Signac, Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne, on the artists of the Low Countries, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is bringing Dutch and Belgian masters, as well as the French, together for the first time in a new exhibition, Colour Unleashed – Modern Art in the Low Countries 1885-1914 later this year.

Mondrian show SS2Mill in sunlight, 1908, oil on canvas, 114 x 87 cm
by Piet Mondriaan  Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

On show will be work by artists of the Low Countries, such as Leo Gestel, Jan Toorop, Piet Mondrian, James Ensor, Jan Sluijters, Henry van de Velde and Rik Wouters, as well as the French masters Claude Monet, Paul Signac, Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne and so on. Their work will be brought together to examine the interaction between artists from France and the Low Lands so that the viewer can examine and experience the differences and similarities in their paintings. The French artists will be on show in one large exhibition room with all other rooms filled with work by the Dutch and Belgian artists.

This  exhibition has been made possible due partly to the current renovation of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, as a result of which some of the top items in its collection can now travel to other museums around the world. The show is also part of a year of events celebrating the cultural ties between the Netherlands and Flanders.

by Caroline Simpson

Colour Unleashed – Modern Art in the Low Countries 1885-1914 is on show at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag from October 3, 2015 – January 4, 2016

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag
Tel: 31 (0)70 3381111 email: