Impressionism at its Best

Adriaan Boshoff is known as one of South Africa’s greatest impressionist artists and manages to capture an impression with eye and soul and recreate it into dabs of colour on canvas. He is an expert on colour, being able to create two hundred different colours from three basic colours and developed a perceptive eye to observe colours which most others fail to see.


He portrays everyday scenes in his own unmistakable impressionistic style. His subject matter is landscapes, seascapes and figurative, mostly in oils. Many of his figurative studies portray a romantic-impressionism with a Victorian atmosphere.


He was born in 1935 in Pretoria where he grew up and qualified as an electrician. The urge to paint surfaced during childhood and was inspired by South African artist, Frans Oerder and the French impressionists of the 19th century. He decided to enroll for studies at an art school, but was told that there was nothing they could teach him and in his early twenties he decided to become a fulltime artist.


In his early twenties he travelled by motorcycle to the Congo and repairing electrical generators for a living on isolated farms. Later in his live there were times that he and his family travelled ceaselessly through South Africa and from town to town. He painted scenes from Messina, Namaqualand, the Drakensberg and the coastline, as to name a few places. He painted Baobab trees and wild flowers, mountain ranges depicting the veld with cattle grazing seascapes with people busy with everyday life activities.


Adriaan Boshoff’s carefully planned his paintings en sketches and it was of great importance to harmonize the composition, lines and background. He was dedicated to perfection and placed a high value on quality and painted every work to the best within his ability and destroyed the paintings if it did not meet his own high standards. His works has long reached collectors and investment status and can be found with well-known art collectors locally and abroad as well as several listed South African companies.


His artwork’s performance as a store off value and his auction records is beyond reproach. In April 2008 a large work of the artist sold for R1 045 000- at Stephan Welz & Co in Johannesburg. On the same auction a small work of 30x20cm depicting a mother and child hanging up the washing sold for R88 000-. Taking into consideration similar work sold for less than a third of this price before his death in 2007. This putting him among the old masters of South African art at auction.


As conclusion I quote Adriaan Boshoff when he said the following about his art:” I love my country, its people- especially its children, and its natural beauty. In my work I endeavour to portray things in a way which people are able to understand. I enjoy capturing scenes and images I see and experience around me, as I perceive it- as it impresses itself on me. For this reason, I often revisit painted scenes to ascertain whether my interpretation was correct. I have found a certain measure of realism in my life and that is what I seek to share with others. Every work I do must be better than the previous one. I have not produced my best work yet. Perhaps it will be the next one- or maybe the one after that”.


He passed away at the age of 72 as a man who has embraced Christianity. His faith seemed to have helped him discover the inner peace that had so eluded him in his early years. It is this peace that the art lover sees in the maturity, the grace and in the serenity of his work.


Dedication to perfection, rare talent and creative ability definitely catapulted Boshoff into the forefront of the South African impressionist artists.