16 Facts About Frans Claerhout


Frans Claerhout was a Belgian painter who spent most of his adult life in South Africa.


Frans Claerhout moved after completing his training for the priesthood.


Frans Claerhout stayed on a farm near Bloemfontein in the Free State province of South Africa.


Frans Claerhout worked as a priest and in his spare time he concentrated on his art.


Frans Claerhout was a self-taught painter who created landscapes and figures in oil paint.


Frans Claerhout started painting more after relocating to Thaba Nchu in 1960, and became famous for his unique style, which used vivid colors and incorporated items such as donkeys, sunflowers and figures of people he met through his everyday life.


Frans Claerhout's work was inspired by Christian spirituality and Claerhout he painted biblical scenes.


In May 2000, Frans Claerhout painted a golden bird on the flyleaf of a book that he gifted to novelist Zakes Mda.


Frans Claerhout died in his sleep after being admitted to a hospital in Bloemfontein.


Frans Claerhout led a solitary life and before his death, he lived at the St Francis Catholic Mission in Tweespruit, Free State, a home for pensioned Catholic priests.


Frans Claerhout had no formal art training but came from an artistic family, and had belonged to a local art society during his student years.


Frans Claerhout has been defined as an expressionist painter and his work referenced Flemish Expressionism especially the works of Constant Permeke, whose paintings, like Frans Claerhout's, were concerned with agricultural labourers and the land they tend.


Frans Claerhout suffered a heart attack in 1979 while visiting Belgium and later that year he had bypass surgery in South Africa.


Frans Claerhout donated much of the earnings from his versatile artwork to fund the building of housing and schools and support the people of his mission in and around Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu.


In 2002, Frans Claerhout caused an uproar when he revealed that several of his artworks were forgeries.


Father Frans Claerhout was an author who wrote several books, including four works of poetry.