Johfra Bosschart is born as Johannes Franciscus Gijsbertus VAN DEN BERG in 1919 in the city Rotterdam. The name Johfra comes from the contamination of the following names: JOHannes FRAnciscus, and Bosschart. Johfra's art is magically combined from three sources as he is describing his work in his diary as: 'Surrealism based on studies of psychology, religion, the Bible, astrology, antiquity, magic, witchcraft, mythology and occultism'.
Johfra died on 6 November 1998, almost 79 year old, in France. His career expaned in over than sixty years, in which the artist had painted many oil paintings, drawings, aquarels and collages.
Johfra's work wasn't positively reveived in his life years, as the proverb says, he was like 'a prophet in his own country who wasn’t heard'. While many people and reviewers were skeptic, denying his work, he continued to draw remarcable paintings. The official art-institutes and museums didn't take him seriously but his exhibitions have shown that many people were requiting his works: many visitors who bought his paintings. Johfra had a diary, in which he wrote about the important moments from his life. Days before he died, his own autobiography was published under the name of: ‘Symphony Fantastique’ in year 1998. The reason for his autobiography is in his own diary, stated: 'So many people tried to label me and tried to place me in a certain corner. One writer who made an excellent biography about me, wrote in his book that I was a ‘Gnostic teacher who wanted to purchase and convince pupils through my painting‘! I just wanted to make some things clear. Who knows more about me than myself?'.
Johfra joined an esoteric movement: the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, in Haarlem. There, he and his wife Diana have been workingfor the order of the clergyman leaders. The gnostic concept learned in that brotherhood impacted the symbolistic of his esoteric paintings.
The Zodiac Series where created after several meditations, as he describes in the book 'Astrology: Signs of the Zodiac-1981':
'When I received the commission to paint posters of the twelve astrological signs from Verkerke productions in 1973, I knew that it would be pointless to add yet more examples to the many hundreds of representations that already existed...Therefore I decided to elevate as many sides of the signs as possible through a brief meditation and contemplation on the principle figure, who becomes the main point of concentration. The many different symbols related to a certain sign, gathered together into a harmonious composition, would give each painting more depth; they would offer the observer more possibilities for his own free associations.'
Three esoteric systems inspired Johfra to draw the Astrology Series:
'These systems are precious treasures from our past, offering the artist unlimited creative possibilities. Above all, three great philosophical schools have strongly influenced esoteric thinking in Europe from the Middle Ages to our present day. Taken together, they constitute a secret science. They are: Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism, and the Jewish Cabbala.'
The most important work of arts of Johfra care titled below (click on each title for corresponding image):