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Artist Details

Stefan Ampenberger

Ampenberger, Stefan (1908 – 1983)

Stefan Ampenberger began painting at home in Bavaria as a youth. Adventurous and restless, he wandered
widely on foot and by sea until he came to South Africa in 1926. When he settled in South Africa he met JH
Amschewitz in Johannesburg, where he received guidance. He travelled the countryside by caravan for 17 years,
sketching and exhibiting alongside his wife, Iris Ampenberger. In 1964 he finally settled in Thaba ‘Nchu.

Ampenberger is primarily concerned with landscape, occasionally figures intrude upon the scene, but they
are incidental to the sweeping rhythms of clustered vegetation and the geophysical formation of the land. His
technique is bold, paint is applied in broad, juicy strokes, and natural features are casually defined. There is a kind
of restless, expressionist bravura about Ampenberger’s paintings and an absence of detail, which stamps then as
modern. During the early 70’s, the browns and greens of Ampenberger’s former canvases gave way to intensified
chromatic colour.

Stefan Ampenberger was born in 1908 in Munich Germany.  He began painting at a very young age at home in Bavaria.  When they settle in South Africa in 1926, Stefan met JH Amschewitz in Johannesburg, where he received guidance. 
He travelled the countryside by caravan for 17 years, sketching and exhibiting alongside his wife, Iris Ampenberger. In 1964 he finally settled in Thaba ‘Nchu.
Ampenberger is mainly a painter of landscapes, occasionally figures included, Working in watercolor and oil. 
Stefan was a guest member of the Bloemfontein Group and exhibited with them on some occasions. 

In 1980 Stefan Ampenberger lost use of his legs through illness, but continued active life and painting from a wheel-chair. 

Public Art Collections: 
South Africa National Gallery, Cape Town; William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley; AC White Art Gallery, Bloemfontein; Pretoria Art Museum.