Francois van Halter
Born in Belgium in 1923, Van Halter gained artistic knowledge from his father, who was a sculptor and his uncle Joseph van Halter, who was an established artist. He spent many hours visiting the cathedrals and museums admiring and looking at the detail in paintings of the 17th and 18th century artists. In his early teens Van Halter showed talent in poetry and prose and at age 15 he won a state prize for literature. He drew portraits and had his work exhibited at the Oefenschool van de Staats-normalschool at Ghent, Belgium. He initiated and established an art club, wrote poetry, studied history of art, frequented the best Flemish artists, made stylistic studies of literary works and was an actor. Van Halter emigrated to South Africa in 1952 at the age of 29 and fell in love with African culture and the African landscape from which he drew inspiration. Mixed with his European influences and travels around South African rural areas, his paintings reflect a unique Afro/European style.