Women kissing, 1906

Jan Sluijters (1881-1957)

  • Oil on Canvas, 92 x 62,5 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

In 1904 Jan Sluijters won the Prix de Rome, the most prestigious Dutch art award. The prize consisted of a bursary that allowed him to study abroad for four years. However, this painting, which Sluijters produced while in Paris, cost him this award. The jury members were so shocked when they saw the work that they refused to grant him the bursary for the remaining period. It was not only the subject of the painting, two women kissing each other, which caused a commotion: the garish colours and ‘coarse technique’ also made the committee shudder.

More information about "Women kissing"


In Paris Sluijters had met Kees van Dongen, who belonged to the artists’ movement Les Fauves (‘the wild ones’). These painters drew their inspiration from the bright colours used by painters such as Vincent van Gogh, and preferred a flat, decorative composition preference to a realistic image. Sluijters felt completely at home in these circles. He increasingly chose extravagant themes with colourful characters from the circus and cabaret, following in the footsteps of the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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