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Jan Toorop (1858-1928)
Jan Toorop (1858-1928)

Shakuntala

Details
Jan Toorop (1858-1928)
Shakuntala
signed with initials 'J.Th.T.' (lower right)
chalk and pastel on paper
56 x 25 cm.
Executed circa 1892.
Provenance
Ms. Lothrop Dunham, USA.
Kunsthandel Hirschberg, The Hague.
J. van der Plas, Katwijk aan Zee, thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
Ph. Zilcken, 'Jan Toorop' in: Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift, no. 8, I, 1898, p. 125.
Exhibited
Katwijk, Katwijks Museum, Jan Toorop in Katwijk aan Zee: 22 april 1890 - 12 mei 1892, 25 mei 1899 - 26 april 1904, 29 June - 18 August 1985, no. 31
Katwijk, Katwijks Museum, Jan Toorop: het late symbolisme, 20 October 2001 - 19 January 2002.

Brought to you by

Else Valk
Else Valk

Lot Essay

Jan Toorop made two drawings based on the court drama Shakuntala by the Indian poet Kalidasa (circa 4th century). The present lot is the first version and can be dated around mid 1892 due to similarities between the female figure of the present lot and the one on Aurore in the collection of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum.

Dushyant, a king, meets a beautiful girl Shakuntala. It is love at first sight and Shakuntala weds Dushyant. On his way back to his capital, Dushyant promises to send his envoy to escort her up to him and gifts his signet ring as a token of remembrance. One day when the sage stops at Shakuntala's hut and calls for hospitality, Shakuntala fails to hear his call as she is lost in her love thoughts. The infuriated sage curses her saying: 'He whose thoughts have engrossed you would not remember you anymore. He can only recall you upon producing some significant souvenir'. Days pass by and she goes to the royal court to meet the king, as she is pregnant with Dushyant's heir. On her way to the court, Shakuntala's signet ring accidentally drops into a river and was eaten by a fish. When Shakuntala arrives, Dushyant fails to acknowledge her. Disappointed, she leaves and goes to a far away land. There, she gives birth to a son. The ring later was found back and taken to the king. The spell broke and the he remembers all about Shakuntala. Overcome with guilt for his failure to recognize his wife, Dushyanta makes an unsuccessful effort to find her. Some years later, he comes across this little child in the jungle he realizes that it is his own son, later known as king Bharat. Shakuntala forgives him and they return to the palace.

To be included in the Catalogue raissonné on the artist's work, currently being prepared by G.W.C. van Wezel.

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