Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has acquired a self-portrait painted in 1928 by artist Charley Toorop (1891-1955), from the estate of Arthur Lehning. This autumn, after it has been restored, the painting will be shown alongside all the artistís self-portraits and other key works in a major retrospective.
Charley Toorop’s presents herself to the viewer in a closely cropped, frontal image. She painted the self-portrait in a period in which she was romantically involved with the anarchist and social historian Arthur Müller Lehning (1899-2000), who was, at the time, founder and editor-in-chief of the international avant-garde journal i10 (1927-1929).
The museum owns various key works by Toorop, including three works in which she is featured: an early self-portrait from 1926, the group portrait ‘Friends’ Meal’ from 1933 and ‘The Three Generations’ from 1950, depicting her with her father Jan Toorop and her son Edgar Fernhout. The 1928 self-portrait is an excellent addition to these works.
Charley Toorop was the daughter of the internationally renowned symbolist Jan Toorop, one of the most dynamic figures in the Dutch art world of the 1920s and 30s, a self-confident and independent woman in a period in which women’s emancipation was taking its first tentative steps, as clearly portrayed in the 1928 self-portrait.
From 27 September 2008 until 18 January 2009, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will host a retrospective of more than 120 works by Charley Toorop. All her self-portraits will be exhibited together for the first time. The focus will also be on her lesser-known, but no less important, Expressionist phase. The exhibition will then travel to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.