It is highly unlikely that painter Gottfried Lindauer moved to New Zealand to avoid being drafted into the army.

"If that were true, he could not have returned to the Czech Republic for several visits," said author Kevin McIntyre.

It is one of a number of inaccuracies about the artist dispelled in the book Gottfried Lindauer 1839-1926 - Life of the Artist & His Work by McIntyre and his wife Joan, launched at Whanganui's Grand Hotel last Friday.

The Woodville couple has spent 18 years searching out paintings, letters and newspaper articles in New Zealand and in Lindauer's hometown of Pilsen in the former Bohemia.

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The book also puts paid to the widely-held belief that Lindauer's New Zealand portraits were all of Māori subjects.

"We refer to the subjects in New Zealand portraits featured in the book as 'Pakeha' and the ones we discovered in the Czech Republic as 'European'.

"Two more paintings were discovered after the book was set between the covers," said McIntyre.

The book was sponsored and printed by Ed and Hinemoa Boyd of H & A Print and Kevin McIntyre said the decision was made to hold the launch in Whanganui to acknowledge the wonderful support from the Boyds and Grand Hotel owner Neville Gorrie.

"We are members of the trust that cares for the Gottfried Lindauer Replica Studio in Woodville and we now have an artist-in-residence programme where we host an artist from the Czech Republic.

"That has been made possible with support from Ed, Hinemoa and Neville."

A Woodville contingent including Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis travelled to Whanganui for the launch and Gorrie said he had to bring out a few extra chairs.

"There were probably around 100 people there and it was nice to welcome the people who travelled from out-of-town," he said.

Framed prints of many portraits from the book adorned the walls of the Grand Hotel with Lindauer's self-portrait talking pride-of-place on an easel alongside a painting of his wife Rebecca.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said he was drinking a Pilsner Lager in Lindauer's honour and thanked the McIntyres for launching the book in Whanganui.

"It's a piece of art in itself," he said.

The 260-page, hardbound book can be ordered by contacting the authors at kj.mcintyre@xtra.co.nz