Frans Martin Claerhout (1919 – 2006)
Frans Martin Claerhout was born in 1919 in Pittem in Belgium, Europe. He resided in South Africa from 1946.
Father Frans Claerhout came to South Africa as a Catholic Priest, where he started a Mission station in the Orange Free State.
In 1957 he began painting scenes around the Mission Stations. He painted a large number of religious scenes and a number of series of pictures, including in 1983 the “Suncatcher” series and in 1984 “Christ and Other Persons”.
Father Claerhout was an expressionistic artist with works characterized by warm colours, impasto and elongated human forms.
He was well-known in the Orange Free State for his active involvement in Arts, Exhibitions and Museums.
He was commissioned murals in mission churches throughout SA, including in Bloemfontein, Edenburg, Potchefstroom, Schweizer-Reneke, Thaba Nchu and Witsieshoek.
He can truly be called the “father” of expressionism in art.
He sadly passed away in 2006 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.