Coetzee, Herbert Harold (1921 – 2008)

Herbert Coetzee was born in Cape Town in 1921. Coetzee was mostly self-taught before 1958, except six months at the Continental School of Art in Cape Town, under Maurice an Essche. From 1958 – 1960 he studied at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten en de Hogere instituten, in Antwerp, Belgium, under Prof Julien Creytens, Prof Jan Vaerten and Prof F van der Spiet, on a study bursary. Coetzee lived and worked in Cape Town, where he was appointed lecturer in Fine Art at the Tech Art School in 1968.

Herbert Coetzee worked within the poular Cape tradition of derivative impressionism. The landscape with houses and his still-life studies which formed the main body of his work, were descriptively rendered with loose brushwork and a colourful palette, that sometimes verged on overstatement. Coetzee was interested in technical effects and experimented with varying methods of portraying his subjects, but his attention remained always on the surface of the scene and content to let nature make its own direct appeal to viewers.

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