Adriaan Boshoff was one of the great impressionists of our time. He was a reclusive man, an artist who was only really happy in his studio surrounded by paint and canvas.
Adriaan Boshoff was a true impressionist, a man who may have made hundreds of sketches before embarking on his paintings. It was this dedication to perfection, coupled with a rare talent and creative ability that catapulted Boshoff into the forefront of South African artists.
Boshoff worked in a studio built for him at his daughter’s rural home near Hartebeespoort Dam. He was a man who had embraced Christianity with all its tenets and strictures. His faith helped him discover the inner peace that had eluded him in his early years – and it is this peace that the art lover sees in the grace and serenity of his work. His most memorable works are landscapes depicting the veld with cattle grazing.
He was unreservedly a romantic impressionist, a man who, in the camera of his mind, could retain the precise nuance of an expression he wishes to impart often large canvasses evidence a rare understanding of color and balance and that essential ability to capture the fleeting impression that is the very essence of Impressionism.
For some time, he toured then Rhodesia on a motorcycle, noting and sketching an astonishing variety of subjects – from the bleak actuality of a parched stretch of veld to the lush softness of a mother dressing her daughter. When asked to nominate his favorite work, he used to say, “I haven’t made it yet. It may be the next one, or the one after that.”
If Boshoff could be said to have a trademark, it would be that singular ability to express the passing moment in such a wide variety of work. He backed this up with a technical ability that is first-rate and an understanding of color and harmony that is unique.
His work has been exhibited to acclaim around the world and is collected by enthusiasts from New York to Auckland. Like so many great artists, he did not work quickly – he often progressed laboriously to what the untrained eye may acclaim to be the perfect canvas only to tear it up and start again. He was his own, most austere critic.