Krisjan by François Krige

The nomadic Krisjan Swart, a character from the Montagu dis­trict, features in many sketches, water-colours and oils, particularly in the late seventies and early eighties. Breyten Breytenbach writes of these portraits: ‘In this small village oasis Krisjan is painted as the emblem of a broken humanity. The folds in his face are pages blackened by history, marked in a foreign tongue. Krisjan is King Lear. His majesty and his massive presence fill the cloth. Krisjan is a deposed ruler seen through the eyes of Rembrandt. He comes from a long way away down the ages.’

In the portraits, Krisjan usually appears wearing greatcoat and veldskoens and carrying a billycan, staff and sack of worldly belongings. The artist gives him the look of a wandering preacher or apostle. This powerful portrait is perhaps the finest of the Krisjan drawings. – Justin Fox, 2013



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Sheet Height:
61 cm

Sheet Width:
50 cm



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