The years with Diana Vandenberg

At the beginning of 1946, Johfra's friends brings him in touch with one Diavola. This was the nickname of Angèle Thérèse Blomjous (The Hague, April 1, 1923 - The Hague, October 3, 1997). The first meetings are a bit to turbulent for the introverted Johfra, but on April 1st, the anniversary of Diavola, they come to speak on painting, biology and so on. The conversation is suddenly much more seriously, the common interests lead to a bond of collegiality.

Because she feels she should have a more serious image Diavola changes her name to Diana, so it changes from little devil to the goddess of hunting. Johfra and Diana spent more and more time with each other and a relationship develops. In the summer of 1946 Diana travels to Paris and Johfra is following her. Diana is working there as an au pair and Johfra stays ten days in the studio of a friend. In 1947 Johfra stays again in Paris where Diana is still working. Now they have more time together and are visiting museums and other attractions.

Back in The Hague they occupy the attic of the apartment of the parents of Johfra. In 1948 they travel to Italy and to primarily visit Rome. This trip is the beginning of a number of trips to Italy, which leave a lasting impression on Johfra and is an inspiration for many paintings, including the Fountain Series.


The efflorescence (1951)

The ghost of melancholy (1963)

The surprise (1961)

Diana is the driving force behind the various trips that the couple makes to the Alps, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, the Swiss lakes, Florence and Venice. Artistically things are getting better also. Sales are increasing and they have much more financial flexibility. In this postwar period, Johfra helds several solo exhibitions in art room Bennewitz in The Hague.

On March 21, 1952 Johfra and Diana get married. They are then about to emigrate to America and a marriage would help in getting a visa easier. Hoewever, not much later they refrain from emigration, and they decide to stay in the Netherlands. They get to know Cor Damme, one of the founders of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum in Haarlem. In 1953 Johfra and Diana joined the Rosicrucians.

In 1954 they visit the caves of Lascaux. Furthermore, several solo exhibitions are held, not only in the Netherlands but also in Los Angeles and Cleveland (1956) and Brussels (1957). On August 7th, 1959 they met Salvador Dalí in Port Lligat.


The long road (1958)

The silent procession (1958)

Christmas Island Hula (1960)

In 1957, Diana introduces her friend Els de Jonge (Ellen Lórien) at Johfra. Between Johfra and Ellen a relationship blossoms. In 1961, Johfra and Diana occupies a home at the Madoera Street 7 in The Hague, but in 1962 Johfra will leave Diana. He also denounces his membership at the Rosicrucians. Late 1962, he cohabits with Ellen in Amsterdam and this brings a final end to the period with Diana.

It will take until 1970 for Diana to agree with a divorce. After the departure of Johfra she calls herself Diana Vandenberg, because she wants to preserve the link with Johfra for the outside world.