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HOW THEY SAW THE COPTS: COPTIC WOMAN (KOPTISCHE VROUW) BY THE DUTCH ARTIST JAN TOOROP

March 2, 2013

 Coptic woman ttorop2

Figure 1: Coptic Woman (Koptische Vrouw) by Charley Toorop, date unknown.

Charley Toorop, or Annie Caroline Pontifex Fernhout-Toorop (1891 – 1955), was a Dutch painter and lithographer. She is famous for her strong sense of realism and symbolism in art, particularly in female figures paintings.

Charley toorop 1946

Figure 3: Charley Toorop, Self-portrait, 1940.

I found the above piece of art by her, which is labelled “Koptische Vrouw (Coptic Woman)”. I don’t know its date, and it seems that it was published on cards from 1956. Does that work exist as a lithographic art in one of the Dutch galleries or museums? I hope my readers will help in answering this. The work I have found is on a postcard, and is black and white, and dates from 1956. The beautiful, strong figure of a black woman in the front is back grounded by knights on horses, which increases the feeling of strength and solidity which one gets by looking at the work.

I love it; however, the depicted woman does not strike me as Copt. It does not look like an Ethiopian, since some Europeans sometimes confuse Copts with the latter, as both follow the Coptic Church.  Does any one of my readers have more information about this work? It will be great to know more about it!

UPDATE (6 January 2014):

As the reader will see from the comment of Egbert Middel, who kindly corrected me, Koptische Vrouw was actually done by Jean Theodoor Toorop, or simply Jan toorop (1858 – 1928), the father of Charley Toorop. I through. have left the article as it is, but changed the title, hoping that this updated information will help the reader as he reads

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Egbert Middel permalink
    October 8, 2013 11:56 am

    I am sorry to have to inform you that the painting is by Jan Toorop and not Charley. It was created in 1920 and as it happens I have a numbered (no.:2) signed copy in my house.

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