Jan Toorop, Dame en blanche (Annie Hall), 1886

Dame en blanche (Annie Hall), 1886

Jan Theodoor Toorop (1858-1928) was a Dutch Impressionist, Symbolist and Art Nouveau painter, Illustrator and Graphic Designer.


Jan Theodoor Toorop was born on December 20, in Purworejo Java, Indonesia, from a part Javanese father and a British mother.
His names at birth were Jean Theodoor Toorop.


The Toorop family moves to Banka, a small island to the southeast of Sumatra (Indonesia)


Jan Toorop is baptized in the Protestant church.


He leaves Indonesia for the Netherlands, and attends high school in the town of Leiden


He attends high school in the town of Winterswijk (eastern Netherlands).


Toorop moves to The Hague, and takes lessons from H.J. van der Weele.


Establishment of the 'Hollandse Teekenmaatschappij' (Dutch Drawing Company), The Hague.
Toorop gets to know painters from the 'Haagse School', and works at the 'Polytechnische School' (Polytechnic) in Delft, where he will remain for two years, taking lessons with P. Tétar van Elven.


He visits the 'Rijksacademie voor beeldende kunsten (National Academy for the Arts) in Amsterdam, where he takes lessons with August Allebé.
He also works in sculpture and crafts, and becomes friends with Jan Veth and Antoon Derkinderen.
He joins the St. Lucas Association, of which Willem Witsen is president, and is influenced by Jules Bastien-Lepage, Edouard Manet and James Ensor.


He leaves together with Derkinderen to stay in Brussels, where he will remain until 1886, and takes lessons with Portaels at the Academy of Fine Arts (Ecole des Arts Décoratifs)


He joins the association 'L'Essor', where he has expositions of his works together with other associates.
He travels to England, then lives in Malines (Belgium) with several other artists.


Toorop exhibits at the Groupe des Artistes Indépendants in Paris, and joins the group of artists called 'Les XX' ('Les Vingt', 'The Twenty') in Brussels, Belgium.
He travels to England and also pays his first visit to Paris.


Toorop has his first exposition.
He travels to England again, meets Whistler,
discovers the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris' views on art and socialism and exchanges letters with Annie Hall.


Toorop marries Annie Hall (British) in Knely on 12 May.
In Brussels he makes contacts with Octave Maus and Edmond Picard, and through them meets many other artists.
As the first painter in Holland, he starts using pointillistic techniques.


Toorop suffers a serious disease, becoming temporarily blind.
Seurat's painting 'Un dimanche d'été a la Grande Jatte' ('A summer Sunday at Grande Jatte') is on exhibition in Bruxelles.
Toorop's oldest daughter, Anne Marie, dies.
He lives in Amerongen for a short time.


Toorop admires Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, and works in Elsene (Ixelles), Belgium.


Annie and Jan Toorop live in England for several years, where Jan gets to know William Morris.
Toorop prepares an exhibition of works by 'Les XX' in Amsterdam, together with Guillaume Vogels.


Toorop lives in Katwijk for two years.
He is in contact with Albert Verwey and other members of the Dutch artist group the 'Tachtigers' (the Eightiers) in Noordwijk.
Henri de Groux becomes very critical of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Signac and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and is therefore banished from 'Les XX'.
At this time, Toorop develops his own version of Symbolism using elements of Javanese aesthetics.


Birth of Jan's daughter Charley Toorop (in Katwijk), who will become a highly talented painter, as will her son Edgar Fernhout.
Toorop exhibits three sea views in the exhibition of 'Les XX', and his first symbolical works are exhibited in Utrecht.
Toorop is now recognized as a fully-developed Symbolist.


Toorop exhibits symbolical works by 'Les XX'. 'De jonge generatie' ('A new Generation') is exhibited during the first show of the 'Salon de la Rose et Croix'in Paris.
He becomes a member of the Rosicrucians for a year.
Paul Verlaine and de Sâr Peladan visit the Netherlands for a series of lectures.
First one man show by Toorop in the 'Haagse Kunstkring' (The Hague Circle for the Arts), of which Toorop is a founder.
He finishes s series of symbolic drawings with a linear, rhythmic emphasis.


'De drie bruiden' ('The three brides'), a symbolical drawing, is shown at the 'Etsclub' in Amsterdam, and is bought by art dealer Van Wisselingh.
His drawings of this year are typical of Art Nouveau.


'Les XX' becomes 'La Libre Esthétique', and exhibits Toorop's 'Verlangen en Bevrediging' (Desire and Satisfaction; Louvre, Paris).
Toorop has his own exhibit in the Museum 'De Lakenhal' in Leiden.
The newly founded English art periodical 'The Studio' illustrates some of his work.


This is a very important phase in Toorop's dry needle art; he makes commercial artworks and posters.

1896 - 1897

Toorop makes a series of book-covers.


Toorop stays in Domburg (Zeeland) for the summer, where he will return for the next 20 years.


Toorop has important exhibits outside the Netherlands, in München (Germany), Dresden (Germany) and Copenhagen (Denmark), among other cities.


Toorop returns to the town of Katwijk, where he remains in residence until 1904, in a house built by the well-known architect Hendrik Berlage.
He works regularly in the town of Domburg, but also lives at several addresses in The Hague.


Toorop has an exhibition in Vienna (Austria) at the 'Secession'.


Toorop finds success with his exhibit at 'Secession', but has problems in his personal life.


Toorop finishes his famous 'Tableaux' in ceramics for the stock market building (Beurs) in Amsterdam.


Lives in a house in the Vossiusstraat in Amsterdam, where he entertains many guests, including Pablo Casals and Eugéne Isaye.


After a long period of preparation, Toorop converts to Roman Catholicism, and changes his first name to Johannes.
He stays in Domburg for much of his time.
Themes of his art become religious and even mystic.
His style simplified and he adopted a technique close to Pointillism.


Finishes many portraits in the divisionistic style.


Toorop finishes his last works in the pointillist-divisionist style.


Toorop moves to the town of Nijmegen, Barbarossastraat 131.


Travels to Ireland; finishes many drawings and a few paintings.


Toorop meets Miek Janssen, with whom he will remain close friends for the rest of his life.


Toorop is very much impressed by misery of the fugitives from Belgium, escaping the destruction of World War I.
He uses this theme in many of his drawings.
He finishes a series of portraits (drawings) of Miek Janssen.


Toorop moves from Nijmegen to The Hague, Van Merlestraat 124.
He starts work on the 14 stations of the cross for the way of the cross in the Church of St. Bernulphus in the town of Oosterbeek.
He writes many letters to Anthony Nolet, with whom he had become friends when living in Nijmegen.


Works at various places on the stations of the cross; the last stations were difficult to finish because of Toorop's ill health and partial paralysis.


Jan Toorop's 60th birthday is celebrated widely.
He has an exhibit at the art dealership 'Kleykamp' in The Hague.


The stations of the cross are dedicated.
Toorop travels with the author Arthur van Schendel and Miek Janssen to Lourdes (France).


He has to stay in his wheelchair almost continuously because his left leg has become paralyzed.
He works hard, mainly drawings and graphics in order to promote catholicism.


Finishes many portraits


Toorop designs the 2 cent postage stamp


He considers his large work 'De Pelgrim' (The Pilgrim) one of his most important creations.


Toorop's last self portrait (with cross) is an enormously powerful work of art


Jan Toorop dies on the 3d of March in The Hague.