In London, Jan Toorop becomes acquainted with the work of the socialist designer and artist William Morris, who strives for a form of art made for the people. Inspired by him, Toorop chooses political and social themes more frequently in his paintings. He depicts them in the latest style at that time, pointillism.
Impact of the social abuses
After the strike is possibly a reaction to a strike that was brutally put down in the Belgian industrial town Charleroi. In the painting, a wounded or killed worker is carried away by a man and a boy. They are followed by a woman with a child in her arms. The child wears a white dress, the colour of purity and innocence. By concentrating on just a few figures, Toorop gives an accurate depiction of the impact of the social abuses and the increasing resistance to them.
The scene has a high horizon and consists of muted shades of purple, blue, green, pink, brown and grey. The matt colours create an ominous and sombre atmosphere, which is further reinforced by the pointillist technique.