Annetje was the third child of Charley Toorop (1891-1955) and Henk Fernhout (1884-1946). In her youth Annetje regularly stayed with her grandmother and grandfather (the well-known painter Jan Toorop [1858-1928]).
Annetje’s relationship with her mother was strained, and unlike her older brothers she... steered clear of the world of art. Instead, she became a medical analyst in a laboratory and opted to live a more conventional life. Charley Toorop had little sympathy for this choice, although she too had stood up for herself and had elected for a free artistic life in reaction to her own – strict Catholic – parents. As an adult, Annetje even harboured a grudge against her mother.
None of these repercussions are yet reflected in this portrait. Annetje is nine years old here. The light falling on her skin lends it a typically childlike porcelain quality. As a result, she makes a vulnerable and tender impression.
Text: Myrthe Wesseling, guide and museum host