Our Two Artists Of The Week – Piet Van Heerden And Conrad Theys

Piet Van Heerden was born in Nyasaland, now Malawi. He was the son of missionaries who settled in Worcester. From 1939 – 1941 he lived and worked in Hugo Naude’s home until the death of Hugo Naude.




More about Piet Van Heerden 

He became popular for his Cape landscape but also became known for his portrait studies. In 1952 he was commissioned to do a portrait of JH Conradie, Speaker in the House of Assembly. KWV, Paarl also commissioned him to do a large mural landscape in 1958.

Although Van Heerden was clearly influenced by the styles of both Hugo Naude and Pieter Wenning, his own work did not perpetuate the radiance and spontaneous sparkle of the former nor the structural and colour impact of the latter. He settled into an easy naturalistic matter, rendering picturesque views of the Cape countryside, which won wide popular support. Furthermore, he completely painted the landscapes in the fluid blending derivative technique that more or less epitomizes the second generation of the tradition known as Cape Impressionism.

After his death in 1991 at the age of 73, they buried his ashes in Namaqualand, near Kammieskroon.

By Conrad Theys, Kokerbome, Oil on Canvas, 35cm x 30cm, R85 000

Conrad Theys, Nasturtiums, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 35cm, R85 000


Born in Montaque, Western Cape in 1940, Conrad Theys grew up in Loeriesfontein in the North Western Cape where he matriculated from Northern Paarl High School. In 1961 he completed his studies as a teacher at Brighton College, Oudtshoorn.

During 1969 and 1970 he studied art under the well-known artist Gregoire Boonzaier, and in 1974 embarked on a full-time career as an artist. In 1981 and 1982, he also studied graphic art under Edwine Simon at the Ruth Prowse School of Art.

Various national and international institutions have his work in their collections: SABC, National Art Museum, Botswana, Life Grow, Rand Merchant Bank, to name just a few. In 1996, the South Africa Art Society elected him President. The University of Pretoria honored him with a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy Degree in 2004.


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