Piet van Heerden Bosveld Vieliersdorp Charcoal 1969
Piet van Heerden
Mountain landscape signed and dated 1969
Framed behind glass – the frame is black and needs some care to it
The son of South African missionaries, Piet van Heerden was born in Malawi in 1917. In 1927, he was sent to boarding school in Wellington in the Boland area of the Western Cape and then on to Cradock High School in the Eastern Cape where he received his first formal art training. In 1939, he moved back to the Boland, settling in Worcester. Here he was mentored by artist Hugo Naudé for 2 years (until Naudé’s death in 1941) and his influence is evident in van Heerden’s artworks. Van Heerden’s style has been identified as epitomising Cape Impressionism, which draws inspiration from European Impressionism and the works of South African artists such as Naudé, Pieter Wenning, and Nita Spilhaus. Van Heerden is noted for his landscape paintings celebrating the Boland – wheat fields, vineyards, farms, and mountains, the semi-arid landscapes of the Northern Cape and Southern Namibia, and, like his mentor, springtime in Namaqualand.
Van Heerden participated in 16 solo shows during his lifetime, the first in 1944, and in numerous group exhibitions between 1945 and 1990. In 1948, he took part in an exhibition of South African art at the Tate Gallery in London. In 1952, he joined UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Arts as a part time lecturer. Van Heerden died in 1991 at the age of 71.