Hennie Niemann senior


The Original Hennie Niemann,


An artist with a passion for paint, movement and colour...


Nestled between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean in the Overberg, there is an idyllic seaside village called Onrus River. There, in this relaxed and tranquil town you will find the well known artist Hennie Niemann senior.


His paintings are sought after because of his use of glorious, rich colours and his exceptional ability to capture the character, mood and movement of his subjects. He captures the warmth of the African sunlight and the buzz of activity in his environment.


This self taught painter derives his inspiration from the people around him. He loves watching people in their working environment. Fishermen proudly returning with their catch; ladies slowly moving up on a hill in harmony, busy picking colourful flowers and fynbos. He observes their fluent movements, when conducting an everyday working activity, with the eye of a master and incorporates it into his works. To him the movements of the harvesters and flower pickers can be compared with the rhythm and flow of a ballet dancer.


Some of his sought after works depict farm labourers harvesting wheat or picking fruit; fynbos pickers collecting bouquets of indigenous flowers and fisher men sorting and selling their catch. He also painted beautiful works portraying his wife and daughter and another of his favourite subjects are harlequins. A Harlequin is a nobody, a nameless person, but according to Niemann, when you look into his eyes, the nobody suddenly turns into a somebody and then the viewer is confronted with the real emotions of a complete stranger.


Hendrik Christriaan Niemann was born in 1941 in Bloemfontein where he attended school and university and qualified as a teacher in Afrikaans and Physical Education. His painting talent was reserved for after hours, but after seventeen years in 1983 he and his family moved to Onrus River to pursue a career as professional artist. This was a new beginning and an exciting period in his life.


He works mainly in oil on canvas, but also uses watercolour, ink, charcoal and mixed media on paper.His art is very sought after and his works are highly prized in galleries and Auction Houses. An oil on board painting of the artist titled the Three harvesters in a sunlit field with trees and mountains in the distance (Signed and dated 2003; Size 49.5cm x 59.5cm) sold for R99 000 at an Auction House in Pretoria in September 2009.


Niemann is currently painting still lifes and abstracts for his own collection. We salute this artist for his rich contribution to our country’s art heritage.