Dick Ket (1902-1940)
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Dick Ket (1902-1940)

Stilleven met fluit: a still life with flute

Dick Ket (1902-1940)
Stilleven met fluit: a still life with flute
signed and dated 'D Ket 1932' (lower right)
oil on canvas
57 x 46.5 cm.
Kunstzaal van Lier, Amsterdam, 1933.
Mr. O. van Tussenbroek, Haarlem, 1940.
Kunstzaal Van Lier, Amsterdam, 1940, where acquired by the father of the present owner in August 1940.
W.J. de Gruyter and J. Mekkink, Dick Ket, 1902-1940, Wageningen 1962, cat.no. 60, ill. 34.
Alied Ottevanger, Dick Ket, Over zijn leven, ideeën en kunst, Arnhem 1994, cat.no. 103, p. 20, ill. 79.
Alied Ottevanger, Dick Ket: Vier studies, The Hague 1995, p. 11, ill..
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Schilderijen, beeldhouwwerken, teekeningen en grafische werken, Vereeniging van Nederlandsche Beeldende Kunstenaren 'De Brug', January-April 1933, cat.no. 91. (travelling exhibition to Dordrecht, Pictura; Utrecht, Kunstliefde).
Belgrade/Zagreb, details unknown, 1933.
Amsterdam, Kunstzaal van Lier, Dick Ket, schilderijen, 16 December 1933-4 January 1934, cat.no. 8.
The Hague, Gemeentemuseum, Stillevens van Bloemen van schilders van heden April-May 1940, cat.no. 50
Amsterdam, Kunstzaal van Lier, Summer exhibition, June-August 1940. Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, In Holland staat een huis, May 1941.
The Hague, Gemeentemuseum/Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum/Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, Herdenkingstentoonstelling Dick Ket, June 1941-1942, cat.no. 24.
Strasbourg, Chateau de Rohan, Quelques Hollandais d'Aujourdhui, 1951, cat.no. 15.
Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum/Laren, Singer Museum/Breda, Cultureel Centrum, Dick Ket, 16 December 1962-1963, cat.no. 60, as: Stilleven met jeneverkruik en blokfluit.
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Lot Essay

"What I want with painting is; the penetrating nature of the 'Primitieven', the broadness of a Breitner and the decorative understanding of a Cassandre."
(see: Dick Ket in a letter to his fiancee Nel Schilt, dated 16 August 1939).

Although often considered to be one of the Neo Realists or 'Magisch Realisten' with his contemporaries Carel Willink, Raoul Hynckes and Wim Schuhmacher, Dick Ket never had a true connection with these artists. He admired Schuhmacher's still lifes, owed to Jan Mankes and Floris Verster, but was most impressed with late medieval and early renaissance art, with a strong preference for the 'Vlaamse Primitieven'. He wanted the rehabilitation of the subject and admired a detailed and smooth way of painting.
Due to Ket's physical limitations (he was suffering from serious heart disease) his world was restricted to his own home and immediate surroundings. The self portrait and still life are two of his main themes, in which he excelled.

The present lot makes part of a series of four still lifes with the exact same measurements, all painted in 1932. He called this series 'Kleine serie' (small series) and the annotation on a sheet of paper in the composition shows that this must have been the fourth and last from these series: 'KS A No 4' (= Kleine serie A No 4). There is probably no strong connection between the four still lifes: Ket never exhibited the four pieces together and in correspondence there is no mention of a meaningful relation between them. They may simply be the first four still lifes in which the artist again chose to depict the composition from a bird's eye perspective. Ket had a strong preference for A.M. Cassandre's affiches. His designs frequently appear in Ket's still lifes. In the present lot we find part of the Droste's Verpleegster cacao design.

'Stilleven met fluit' is a rare example of the artist's mature style and one of the few important paintings still to be in private hands. Most of his more important paintings can be found in museum collections.

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