The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Relatives contact the Stedelijk: The full story revealed behind the painting Working-Class Woman by Charley Toorop
Charley Toorop, Working-Class Woman, 1943, 150 x 119 cm, oil on canvas, collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

AMSTERDAM.- It is one of the most popular artworks in STEDELIJK BASE: the painting Working-Class Woman (1942-43) by Charley Toorop. On the right, in front of a crumbling wall sits a woman, gazing straight ahead, her hands in her lap, a menacing sky and charred buildings in the background.

But the Stedelijk knew very little about who the identity of the woman in the portrait. In her letters, Charley Toorop had described her sitter as ‘a working-class woman’ and called her ‘Mother Punt’. But who exactly was Mrs Punt, and why did she look so sad ….? The museum was completely in the dark.

More came to light when a journalist from the Dutch newspaper Noord-Hollands Dagblad mistakenly identified her as Trijntje Klomp-Zult. Mrs Punt’s relatives responded—they knew her true identity—the woman in the picture was their grandmother. The family contacted the museum and we discovered the full story.

The woman in the portrait is Johann ‘Jansje’ Punt (Halsteren 1899-Bergen, 1983), who was Charley Toorop’s housekeeper. She is the working-class woman Toorop refers to in her letter.

Mrs Punt-Verburgt was an excellent cook whose culinary delights were enjoyed not only by Charley Toorop but artists like Gerrit Rietveld too—well-known artistic figures often attended dinner parties at Charley Toorop’s home.

On the back of the painting in Charley Toorop’s handwriting, are the words: Working-Class Woman – Bergen – Charley Toorop. Charley Toorop and Jansje Punt lived in Bergen in the Netherlands but Toorop decided to depict the devastation of Rotterdam in the background—she was very distressed when the city was bombed. As a reference, she used photos of the ruined city taken by her good friend and daughter-in-law Eva Besnyö.

Anja Offringa-Punt, one of Jansje Punt’s grandchildren, says: “Our family knew that grandma had worked for Charley Toorop and that she’d sat for this painting. Charley Toorop gave her a photo of the work as a gift, with a photo of Charley herself on the back, as a thank you for being her model. The photo has always been in the family. But we had no idea that it is such a large canvas, the photo is much smaller, and when we saw the portrait, we were amazed. We’re so proud that this painting of our grandmother is one of the icons at the Stedelijk.”

She also reveals another, very poignant reason why her grandmother looks so sad: “Her three sons had been forced to work in Nazi Germany, and she feared for their lives. Charley Toorop captured her heartbreak in this portrait perfectly.”

Maurice Rummens, researcher at the Stedelijk Museum: “In the light of the history of World War II in the Netherlands, it is an iconic work. And it means a lot to us to have finally discovered more about the story behind the work. Despite the harrowing circumstances, Charley Toorop gives her Working-Class Woman something heroic. She has an air of acceptance but isn’t defeated, and sits erect, her gaze troubled but steadfast. The embodiment of spiritual and moral strength in a ruined world.”

Working-Class Woman was featured in the exhibition Kunst in vrijheid at the Rijksmuseum in 1945. The Stedelijk Museum bought the painting in 1952 and loaned it for display at the Venice Biennale in 1954.

Working-Class Woman by Charley Toorop is on view every day in STEDELIJK BASE.

Today's News

May 1, 2019

Exhibition features forty-four photographs by five legendary members of Group f/64

Christie's to offer Picasso works from the Norman Granz Collection

Artcurial to auction the intimate and unprecedented collection of André Malraux

Christie's will offer Jonas Wood paintings to conserve 600,000 acres of South American rainforest

Russian court jails man who attacked tsar painting

Through major grant, American treasures from Philadelphia Museum of Art to travel to 8 Pennsylvania museums

Important Édouard Vuillard painting acquired by Pallant House Gallery through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme

Christie's Paris announces highlights included in its Asian Art sale

Exhibition of rare and seminal designs by Italo-Brazilian artist Lina Bo Bardi on view at Gladstone Gallery

Relatives contact the Stedelijk: The full story revealed behind the painting Working-Class Woman by Charley Toorop

End of fair report: Art Brussels 19

Superb collection of Chinese export porcelain offered at Bonhams Fine Chinese Art sale

McMaster Museum of Art welcomes new senior curator, Pamela Edmonds

France, Italy mark 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death in Loire Valley

Woodstock organizer says embattled festival still on

Two Pussy Riot members granted asylum in Sweden

Asia Society announces inaugural Triennial of Asia

The Workshop and Fann A Porter present 'Gusts of Wind' by Shereen Shalhoub

Mingei partners with designers to build "Installations at the Station"

Rare 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar sets $108,000 world record price at Heritage Auctions

Milestone to offer historically important archives at May 11 Firearms & Militaria Auction

Turner Auctions + Appraisals opens the door to treasures from a couture closet

French want Notre-Dame rebuilt as it was: survey

Pogba's World Cup-winning boots sell for 30,000 euros

Using Natural Gemstone

The Fundamentals of Furnishing a Home in Contemporary Style Inspired by Florida Art Galleries

6 Art Essay Topics To Cover In 2019

You Might Not Have To Get Rid Of Your Discolored Clothes: Dye and Bleach At Home

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Art of early man found in the greatest meteor crater on earth

2.- Exhibition celebrates Helmut Newton's 50-year career through a rare and unseen collection of vintage prints

3.- World's most costly painting on Saudi prince's yacht: report

4.- Sotheby's celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with an auction

5.- Domaine de Chantilly exhibits Leonardo da Vinci's 'Nude Mona Lisa'

6.- New book offers front-row seat to greatest concert in history

7.- The New York Botanical Garden opens its largest botanical exhibition ever

8.- The most famous car in the world: RM Sotheby's presents James Bond Aston Martin DB5

9.- Mexico unearths what may be historic recording of Frida Kahlo

10.- Exhibition of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's paintings marks centenary of his death

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful