In 1906 Thérèse Schwartze portrayed Aleida van Ogtrop-Hanlo together with five of her children. Schwartze was one of the leading society painters in the Netherlands around 1900. Her clientele came from the nobility and the bourgeois elite in Amsterdam and The Hague. Members of the royal family also sat for her. In this portrait, Aleida van Ogtrop-Hanlo is surrounded by, from left to right: Adriënne (Zus), Pieter (Piet), Maria (Misel), Eugènie (Toetie) and Adèle (Kees). The youngest child, Joanna (Jennie) was not yet born. Aleida’s husband, Henricus Joannes van Ogtrop, had his portrait painted in the same period by Isaac Israëls: standing, in tails, with a cigar in his hand.
There are considerable differences between the two portraits, and this was most likely Mr van Ogtrop’s intention. He presents himself as a capable businessman and administrator. By contrast, the portrait of his wife and children has a bucolic and dreamy quality, with rich clothing and poetic colours. Stylistically Thérèse Schwartze followed in the footsteps of the famous eighteenth-century English portrait painter, Thomas Gainsborough.
The group portrait is a marvellous painting, executed with great skill and panache. It gives an excellent impression of the self-image of the Dutch upper classes at the beginning of the twentieth century.