During the early decades of the twentieth century, Austrian-French painter Jean Baptiste Discart (1855–1940), whohas unjustly remained unknown, worked in The Hague. He painted several portrait series on behalf of prominent, mostly noble Dutch families. Most of these portraits have been preserved only in private collections. The members of these families were related through marriage, and a number of them held positions at the Dutch royal court. Discart remained in touch with these families over the years. This book includes brief biographies of those portrayed as well as photographs and portraits made by earlier or later painters when available. Compared to the latter, Discart’s work stands out for its sense of modesty and austerity.
Discart’s career started in Paris and Tangier with orientalist paintings. These
depict everyday life in Morocco, including the practices, trades and traditions
of the local population. Discart’s orientalist paintings are characterised by
realistic representations, a uniform effect of light, great composition and excellent use of colour. Because he was born in Modena, which belonged to Austria
at the time, and received his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna,
Discart is considered a part of the Austrian Orientalist school, along with his
fellow students Ludwig Deutsch and Rudolf Ernst. Discart continued to refine
his own portrait painting techniques while still adhering to this school.
This book consists of a biography and a discussion of 40 works from his first
period and 61 Dutch portraits, followed by a full-colour catalogue. With this
work, the oeuvre of a largely forgotten painter has been brought back to life.
Theo Kralt (Rijnsburg, 1959) studied law and public administration, economics and international relations. Next to his work for the Dutch government and
civil society organisations, he has published on Wielbergen House and the
Brantsen family, the churches of Utrecht’s inner city and the Domkerk restoration.
Related articles and publications
11 oktober 2020 – Vergeten schilder Jean Baptiste Discart komt weer tot leven
30 september 2020 – Artikel over het boek in de Oestgeester Courant
1 september 2020 – Artikel over het boek op website Adel in Nederland (AIN)
24 september 2020 – Schilder J.B. Discart herontdekt!
24 september – Discart geëerd met boek
28 August 2019 – Lecture: “Discart in Tangiers”
- Theo Kralt brengt onbekende schilder tot leven
- Interview Theo Kralt over boek over de schilder Jean Baptiste Discart
- Onbekende schilder Jean Baptiste Discart steeds minder onbekend
- First book of the English edtion presented to the Mayor of The Hague
- New book: Jean Baptiste Discart Orientalist paintings and Dutch portraits
Out of catalogue: Miss Polwhele, of Truro, drawn whilst on her family tour of Africa and India, 23 cm x 17 cm, signed J.B. Discart, 1898, Tangier. Sold for £650, Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers, Stratford Upon Avon, Antique Auction July 3 2020, Lot 177.
- Wikipedia (English)