Father Frans Claerhout was born in Belgium in 1919 and came to South Africa as a missionary in 1946. After serving in Bloemfontein he eventually moved to the Tweespruit mission station near Thaba 'Nchu. Here, as a priest, he worked closely with the local impoverished community offering a great deal of compassion and understanding. He described his art as "an expressionistic pause in the life of a group of people, who by general humanity can be understood and loved". Greatly influenced by his faith his subject matter ranges from religious themes to farm and village life. He was an expressionistic artist who sought to portray the simple, rural Free State lifestyle and the truth about our humanity to a modern world. The roughness, exaggerations, warmth and innocence in his pictures show a sensitive view of humanity and reality through the eyes of this caring artist.
His first solo exhibition took place in Johannesburg in 1961 and he subsequently exhibited throughout South Africa and in Europe and the USA. Father Claerhout died in 2006.
"Man with Bird"
28 x 20cm
"Lady with Flowers"
28.5 x 20.5cm