Dick Ket

Art on This Day
Dick Ket was a Dutch magic realist painter noted for his still lifes and self-portraits. Born with a serious heart defect, he was prevented from traveling by debilitating weakness as well as by phobias, and lived secluded in his parents’ house in Bennekom after 1930. Exposed to modern art mainly through reproductions, he concentrated on painting still lifes and self-portraits. His health worsened in his last decade, leading to his early death in Bennekom on this day in 1940.


Ket completed approximately 140 paintings, including forty self-portraits. As a result of his technical experimentation with different formulations and additives to the glaze medium, some of his paintings are not completely dry after six decades. In his self-portraits the progressive symptoms of his physical deterioration, such as cyanosis and finger clubbing, are apparent.