Francois Krige

Born: 1913, Uniondale, South Africa Died: 1994, Montagu, South Africa Francois Krige was born in Uniondale in the Cape Province. Krige was the brother of the celebrated writer, Uys Krige. Francois Krige was regarded in his youth as a golden boy of South African painting. He was undoubtedly an able talent, his draftsmanship was both sensitive and powerful, his painting fresh and unfettered by academic clichés.

Early in his career, Krige was awarded the medal of honour for painting and graphic art by the South African Academy for Science and Arts in 1949. Despite this recognition he shied away from the art community, but few who have encountered Krige´s beautiful and evocative paintings celebrating the fauna, flora and people of southern Africa will disagree that he deserves wider recognition. Little is known and even less written about this retiring artist. Son of Japie Uys, the legendary rugby centre, and Sannie, the novelist, and brother to the poet Uys.

Krige, Francois distanced himself from both the limelight and his famous and perhaps overpowering family to pursue his art in relative isolation.

Other fascinating periods in his career included sketching Allied operations in the Western Desert and Italy during the Second World War; hiking alone in the Himalayas; and journeying to the Kalahari to live with the Kung Bushmen and record their lifestyle in elegant drawings which were later used as inspiration for Gauguin-like paintings. Although Krige´s drawings are known and admired, his paintings were not exposed to the public other than to a small circle of art lovers.

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