Van Heerden, Piet (1917 – 1991)
Piet Van Heerden was born in Nyasaland, now Malawi. He was the son of missionaries who settled
in Worcester. From 1939 – 1941 he lived and worked in Hugo Naude’s home until the death of Hugo
He became popular for his Cape landscape but also became known for his portrait studies. In 1952 he
was commissioned to do a portrait of JH Conradie, Speaker in the House of Assembly. KWV, Paarl also
commissioned him to do a large mural landscape in 1958.
Although Van Heerden was clearly influenced by the styles of both Hugo Naude and Pieter Wenning, his
own work did not perpetuate the radiance and spontaneous sparkle of the former nor the structural and
colour impact of the latter. He settled into an easy naturalistic matter, rendering picturesque views of
the Cape countryside, which won wide popular support. The landscapes were completely painted in the
fluid blending derivative technique that more or less epitomizes the second generation of the tradition
known as Cape Impressionism.
After his death in 1991 at the age of 73, his ashes were buried in Namaqualand, near Kammieskroon.
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