Background: Originally called Annie Caroline, Charley was the daughter of Jan Toorop, one of the foremost artists in the Netherlands during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Training: Rather than attending art school, Charley learned art skills from her father.
At the beginning her career, she allied herself with a group of artists who aimed at depicting the essence of reality, and favored the use of strong colors and heavily lines. Her work first appeared in a show with that group in 1916.
Charley developed a style of confrontational realism, presenting her subjects head on. This applies not only to her remarkable self-portraits in which she penetrates the viewer with her steely gaze, but also to her portraits of farmers, labourers and fishermen.
From 1926-1928 she lived in Amsterdam, where her painting became influenced by film. Her faces appear to be lit by individual spotlights creating strong contrasts between highlights and shadows.
From the 1930s onwards, she painted in a powerful realistic style—notably self-portraits and many female figures. She also did still lifes that were influenced by synthetic cubism.
Toorop's work is widely collected by Dutch museums.
|Self-portrait with Three Children, 1929|
Charley remained single the rest of her life, though she is rumored to have had a brief relationship with a Dutch poet.
After much moving about, in 1932, Charley settled in a town in North Holland, where she lived in a house of her own design.
There is a very nice selection of Charley's work on Artnet: Charley Toorop
The Kroller Muller Museum has a huge collection online: Toorop Two
Our photos of Charley's work:
|Self-portrait in front of a palette, 1934|
Photo by Dan L. Smith, 2015
|Fruit and Autumn Leaves, 1952|
Gementemuseum / Jan's photo, 2015
|Clown in the Ruins of Rotterdam, 1941|
|Photo of Charley in 1951|