Johfra Bosschart, Unio Mystica, 1973
Born in 1919 as Franciscus Johannes Gijsbertus van den Berg in Rotterdam or as more commonly known Johfra Bosschart (The Artist adopted the pseudonym JohFra by using the first three letters from each of his two first names in reverse order.) was a Dutch surrealist Artist. Johfra and his wife Artist Ellen Lórien, established themselves in Paris and then Fleurac, France after relocating from the Netherlands after World War II. Johfra described his works in his own words as "Surrealism based on studies of psychology, religion, the Bible, astrology, antiquity, magic, witchcraft, mythology and occultism." Most of Johfra's early painted pieces were destroyed in a bombing raid during the end of the Second World War - without any photographic representations remaining.
During the German World War II occupation of his home in the Netherlands(Holland) Bosschart had limited access to the outside Art world but did find a Nazi propaganda magazine with an article about degenerate Art... This random rather ironic look into "Degenerate" Art was his introduction to the surrealist paintings of Dalí, Ernst, Tanguy, and Magritte. The Artist became particularly enthralled to the work of Salvador Dalí - though their meetings where rather strained in person. Speaking of Dalí an intriguing Johfra quote remains of their first encounter "This visit left a storm of conflicting thoughts and feelings behind us. I found him repulsive yet sympathetic and tragic. An imprisoned person who is forced to be the figure that he himself has created. A victim of a world in which he is the fool, and of himself through his boundless vanity, making him impossible to break out of this situation. What I missed completely was every trace of joy and humour." via @visualmelt Throughout the 1950s until his death Johfra created many paintings in a flowing organic surrealist style. The Artist was founder of the now defunct Meta-Realist group and was known for his unique lifestyle and surrealist Art
Valley with Three Trees, 1991
Witch's Sabbath I 1977
Johfra's largest works offer a dark mass of humanity caught among landscapes of occult symbology. In "Witches Sabbath I", a celebrated surrealist work, a Baphomet or symbol of the Devil can be seen in the distance looming.
Interior of Unio Mystica (1973)
Children of the Moon (1969) By Johfra Bosschart (1919-1998)
Children of the Moon (1969), and detail By Johfra Bosschart (1919-1998).
El Sacrificio de Cannunas Johfra Bosschart 1979
Image via Monster Brains
The Adoration of Pan (1979) (De aanbidding van Pan)
Johfra used Occult elements that referenced older Pagan traditions and nature rather than direct Satan worship. The Witches’ Sabbath can be seen as a representation of the all-pervading-Life-power which flows through Nature - a common theme in the Artists most celebrated works.
Nostalgia for Lemuria 1961
The Journey Home
Pearl Guardian (1971) (De behoeder van de parel)
Aquarius - Johfra Bosschart The Zodiac Series