Johfra Bosschart was born in Rotterdam, Holland on December 15, 1919, and died in Fleurac, France on November 6, 1998 at the age of 78. He signed his works "Johfra," an acrostic of his full name Franciscus Johannes Gijsbertus Van Den Berg. He sometimes added his mother's maiden name, "Bosschart," to his paintings as well. The founder of the now defunct "Meta-Realist" group, he described his own works as "Surrealism based on studies of psychology, religion, the Bible, astrology, antiquity, magic, witchcraft, mythology and occultism." An autobiography of Johfra Bosschart, Symphony Fantastique, ISBN: 90 804422016 (de Verbeelding/Woerden) has been available since 1998.
In 1973 Johfra was commissioned to do the above twelve Zodiac pictures by Engel Verkerke. And at the same time Walter Kamp also commissioned seven paintings from him that have come to be known as known as The Maldoror Series. By April, 1974, working in his new studio in the tower of Moulin du Peuch, Johfra had completed the three signs Cancer, Leo and Virgo. A few months later Scorpio and Libra were finished, and towards the end of the year Sagittarius and Capricorn as well. The next year he completed the series with Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Gemini, and Taurus.
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