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Frans Oerder’s claim to fame

As the early 1900’s rolled around Frans Oerder had become a well-known name on the South African landscape. Coming to South Africa as a young graduate he grabbed the first opportunity of employment by working as house painter. Some years later he took up a position as an art instructor at a local school. After eventually taking the bold step to become a full-time painter, he found some reward in his appointment asĀ president Paul Kruger’s official war painter during the Anglo-Boer War.

After almost two decades in South Africa he started a new chapter in Holland. Upon his arrival he initially settled in a one of Holland’s southern most provinces, called Brabant. This region shares a border with its neighbour Belgium and it is widely known for its strong religious beliefs during the early half of the 20th century. Oerder did stay their very long. HeĀ eventually decided to establish himself in Amsterdam.

Frans Oerder Art

The move to the city proved to be a good move. In 1910 he married fellow painter, Gerda Pitlo. By this time his name spread far and wide as a still life and portrait artist. His connection with his new wife saw him make a definite move towards different flower compositions. One of these paintings, Magnolias, was sold to the New York Graphic Society. This piece of art became so popular that Oerder is forever remembered as a master of the still-life compositions and also brought in record sales for the Society.

Despite Oerder having built a new life far from South Africa he continued to design the cover of the weekly magazine, Die Brandwag.

In 1938 he set foot on South African soil for the first time in many years. His grand reputation had preceded him and the tower room of Pretoria City Hall was made available to him to use as a studio.

He eventually died in Pretoria in 1944 after he struggled to recover from a severe bout of pneumonia.