Walter Meyer 'painted the demise of Afrikaner nationalism' – sociologist

2017-12-29 20:42
Walter Meyer (

Walter Meyer (

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Artist Walter Meyer will be remembered for painting the demise of the Afrikaner nationalism, a sociology professor and artist said on Friday. 

"Where [Jacobus] Pierneef painted the rise of Afrikaner nationalism, Walter painted the demise of it," Professor Andries Bezuidenhout told News24, quoting acclaimed historian Liese Van Der Watt.

"Where Pierneef's paintings were idealistic, capturing landscapes in pristine condition, Walter painted landscapes as we see it: paint peeling from walls and dilapidated farm buildings."

Meyer was found dead last Friday in his home in Upington. His wife, 29-year-old Sophia Meyer, was arrested for his murder. 

She appeared in the Upington Magistrate’s Court for the second time on Friday morning where her case was postponed to January 5 for a formal bail application, Netwerk24 reported. 

Bezuidenhout, an artist himself, said he didn’t know Walter personally but met him on several occasions. 

"He (Walter) was a shy person. He despised the spotlight – it was one of his more attractive characteristics."

During the opening of an exhibition of Meyer's work in Bloemfontein in 2010, Bezuidenhout described Meyer's work as "unconventional" in opposition to the "romantic tradition of landscape". 

Using Meyer's painting of Table Mountain as an example, Bezuidenhout said: "Meyer paints the colossus as seen over the cusp of Signal Hill, with Duiwelspiek and Leeukop not even within view; almost like a tourist giving the landmark a last glance before departing for the airport."

Intimate suffering

Bezuidenhout told News24 that Meyer's work was praised for depicting "decay, neglect, abandonment and dereliction", but has been deteriorating the past few years. 

"It deteriorated as his battle with alcoholism continued," Bezuidenhout explained. 

"It is really sad that Meyer suffered depression in such an intimate manner – like a typical artist."

Bezuidenhout urged South Africans not to be caught up in the sensationalism of Meyer's murder, but honour him for his contribution to South African art. 

"If you look at all the important painters in South African art… all of them paint landscapes which Walter Meyer had a huge impact on," Bezuidenhout said. 

"While he remained almost conservative – never using video or performance art - Meyer should be honoured for his sheer brilliance: the way he captured light and atmosphere in a painting – he was the real deal."

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.