Idiosyncratic oeuvre

Charley Toorop learned the profession from her father, Jan Toorop. Initially she works in a cubist and expressionist style. In the early 1930s she discovers her own style, in which she creates an idiosyncratic oeuvre: a powerful realism, with sharply defined shapes and expressive colours.


From 1947 on, she paints a blossoming fruit tree every spring and a tree with apples or pairs every autumn. In this way, she seeks to document the cycle of the seasons and of life. Old apple tree blossoming dates from 1949. At that time Charley has suffered a second stroke. She is partly paralysed and has difficulty talking. With tremendous perseverance she tries to keep working as much as possible.

Inspired by Van Gogh

She makes a large series of still lifes with trees, but also with plates, jugs, bottles or clogs. Many of these still lifes have an angular, austere appearance, but Oude bloeiende appelboom is remarkably poetic and expressionistic. She has obviously taken inspiration from the blossoming trees by Vincent van Gogh, whom she admires greatly.