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Artist
Jan Theodoor Toorop
Title
De Gauwdief
Date
1884
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 35 1/2 × 63 inches (90.2 × 160 cm)Framed: 36 3/4 × 64 1/8 × 2 1/4 inches (93.3 × 162.9 × 5.7 cm)
Tags
Painting
Credit Line
Museum purchase.
Accession Number
1915.2

A relatively large and detailed work painted with lively colors, Jan Toorop’s De Gauwdief also contains a strong narrative component with a moral message. The painting’s title explains its quiet drama: behind a picket fence that cuts across the picture plane, a uniformed officer escorts a captive teenage boy to the police station. Two young brothers watch intently, as does their concerned father, while nearby a toddler sits on the ground, unaware of the action.

De Gauwdief was the only genre picture by a Dutch artist to enter the Telfair’s collection during Gari Melchers’ tenure as fine arts advisor to the museum, despite Melchers’ strong ties to Holland.