De Noter had a very successful career in Belgium and in France as a Romantic, academic-schooled painter of colourful kitchen interiors and beautiful women. All this changed with an accidental gunshot that killed one of his sons in 1868. Our painter left Europe, never to return, and settled with his family for the next 24 years in the French colony of Algeria. With the appropriate humility he painted intimate, timeless views of his new surroundings, especially in the small enigmatic streets of the Kasbah of Algiers.
About David de Noter
Belgian painter who received the French nationality in 1877.
Ghent 1818 – 1892 Saint Eugène Bologhine (Algiers).
In the past David’s dates were erroneously given as “Ghent 1825 – 1875 Brussels”. He is also known as David Emile Joseph de Noter.
Excellent painter of interior scenes, genre scenes, still lifes and Orientalist scenes.
Son and pupil of Jan-Baptist de Noter (1786 – after 1818), an architect, painter and draughtsman.
The de Noter family came originally from Walem, near Mechelen, halfway Brussels and Antwerp. David’s father, Jan-Baptist, moved with his elder brother, the future painter of town views Pieter-Frans (1779 – 1842) circa 1810 to Ghent.
David left Ghent in 1840 for Brussels.
He married in 1845 with Clémence Wauters in Ghent; the couple had seven children, all born between 1848 and 1859.
De Noter left Belgium in 1864 for Paris, due to his success there. He first shared a house with the painter Jules Adolphe Goupil (1839 – 1883, no son of the famous art dealer Adolphe Goupil), then in Le Vésinet (outside Paris, near Saint Germain en Laye), where he had built a house (“une maison de campagne avec donjon, parc, jardin d’agrément, grand arbres, massifs, pelouses, etc”). Here his son Henri (Henri Louis David) was killed in a terrible hunting accident in 1868, aged twenty.
David de Noter moved with his family to the French colony of Algeria.
In 1870 he presented the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Algiers with a still life.
Circa 1872 he published drawings and engravings in “L’’Algérie Synoptique Illustrée”.
In 1877 he received the French nationality.
De Noter remained in Algeria until his death in 1892, but he moved regularly, living always close to the sea:
- until 1878 he lived just outside the city of Algiers in the modern quarter of Belcourt, which was part of the commune of Mustapha (now called Sidi M’Hamed), that would later be attached to Algiers in 1904.
- In 1878 our painter bought a piece of land near the small French colonial town of Marengo (created in 1848, present-day Hadjout) in Desaix (now called Nador), 75 km SW from Algiers.
- In 1880 he moved to the small harbour town of Cherchell (formerly the important Roman town of Caesarea).
- And he finally moved to Saint Eugène (now called Bologhine), just N. of Algiers (situated outside the ramparts of the Kasbah of Algiers).
According to his great-granddaughter de Noter painted until the very end; the day before he passed away (aged 73) he tried to finish a flower still life.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is such a touching and beautiful view of an Arabic Kasbah. It sums up the mystery of the Orient, as it was and as it still is today: enigmatic figures moving between light and dark. Nevertheless paintings from those Algerian years are very rare.