Dick Ket

Autoportrait (Self-portrait) by Dick Ket, 1932

I’ve noticed several self-portraits by the Dutch artist Dick Ket knocking about the internet. The high number of them, coupled with his austere style and use of symbolism has intrigued me for some time. Today I wandered about trying to cobble together a fuller understanding of the man. Wiki has the clearest basic biography and delineation of his influences.

According to Wiki “Dick Ket (October 10, 1902 – September 15, 1940) was a Dutch magic realist painter noted for his still-lifes and self-portraits.”

A clue to the high number of self-portraits he created can be found in this paragraph: “Born with a serious heart defect (believed to be tetralogy of Fallot with dextrocardia), he was prevented from traveling by debilitating weakness as well as by phobias, and lived secluded in his parents’ house in Bennekom after 1930.”

Autoportrait (Self-portrait) by Dick Ket, 1932

Collectie.boijman offers this insight into the above portrait:

“The swollen bluish purple fingertips in this self-portrait by Dick Ket, the so-called ‘drumstick fingers’, were a symptom of the heart condition that killed the artist at the age of 38. He was housebound by his illness and thus concentrated on painting still lifes and self-portraits. Lower right, in mirrored lettering, is the word ‘FIN’, a sign of Ket’s awareness that the end was near.”

Zelfportret met waskom potlood (Self Portrait (with washtub)) by Dick Ket, c1930

Zelfportret (Self Portrait) by Dick Ket, 1931















Zelfportret (Self Portrait) by Dick Ket,1932

Zelfportret (Self Portrait) by Dick Ket, 1933















Today’s List of Links

The Museum of Arnhem (in The Netherlands) has an extensive collection of Ket’s paintings, drawings, sketchbooks and letters [https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://www.museumarnhem.nl/tentoonstellingen/dick-ket/&prev=search]

Art Salon Holland has an informative article on Dick Ket and the magic realism movement


Today’s Musical Selection: Daydream Believer by Susan Boyle



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