Johfra and Ellen Lórien

In 1957, Diana introduces her friend Els de Jonge (Utrecht, March 16, 1924 - Plazac, May 22, 2016) to Johfra. She is a talented artist who later on signs her paintings with Ellen Lórien. Between Johfra and Ellen a relationship blossoms. Johfra leaves Diana in 1962 and is living together with Ellen in Amsterdam.

In 1963, Johfra sells much of his available work at one time to an American. With the revenue they buy a piece of land in Aspremont in the Alpes Maritimes in southern France. In the next year, Johfra and Ellen move to Aspremont and build their first wooden house. A few years later they build a second stone house, which becomes the main dwelling.


Méditation joyeuse (1975)

Introspection (1968)

La dame à la licorne (1984)

In the following years, Johfra and Ellen struggle for money. Especially the more enchanting work of Ellen sells, the work of Johfra is often found frightening. At this time, Ellen paints magically a few highlights from her brushes. The contact with gallery owners does not always run smoothly. They must be well on their guard not to be duped.

For several years Johfra signs his work with Johfra Bosschart, because the French request for a surname. He uses the surname of his mother.

In 1970, the separating with Diana Vandenberg is finally a fact, Johfra and Ellen married on May 11, 1973.


Atlantis rises (1990)

Animus and Anima (1972)

Aqua (1968)

In the early seventies, Johfra and Ellen go back to the Netherlands to exhibit. In 1971, they meet the art critic Hein Steehouwer. Through the efforts of Steehouwer, in 1973 a group called The 7 meta-realists is formed, amongst their members are Johfra and Ellen. In 1974 and 1975, a number of very successful group exhibitions are held.

Looking for a less wild habitat Johfra and Ellen visit the Dordogne. They go through the village of Le Moustier and come along La Roque Saint-Christophe. Both feel right at home in this area and not far from here they find an old mill, Moulin du Peuch, on which they decide to buy. It is stuated at the little river Le Vimont between the villages of Plazac and Fleurac.


The morning (1986)

The afternoon (1986)

The evening (1986)

In 1976, the group of meta-realists falls apart for several reasons. The work of Johfra is then sold through Gallery Kamp in Amsterdam. Later on, the work of Ellen is also sold through this gallery. The influence of living in the Perigord Noir is clearly reflected in both their work. They experience their stay here as a great gift.

In 1983, as Walter Kamp is forced to close his gallery, Johfra and Ellen have to rely on the French public for their sales. In 1984, they start their own gallery at their house, Galerie La Licorne. Especially the work of Ellen sells well. Ellen and Johfra exhibit at various locations in France. In the late eighties, Johfra is able to raise awareness for his work again in the Netherlands through Jester Art Gallery (Amsterdam). In the early nineties, Jester Art Gallery goes into liquidation. Johfra and Ellen exhibit again at home in their own gallery. In 1997, his latest exhibitions follow at Galerie Utrecht.


Ellen in Wonderland 6
Ellen visits the city of elves (1995)

Ellen in Wonderland 8
Dream city by the sea (1995)

Apotheosis of Ellen in Wonderland
Together on the road (1996)

Johfra writes in his autobiography Symphonie Fantastique, the following: Ellen is the driving force and inspiration of our community. She protects me against inner chaos. She takes care of business contacts, in practical terms because I am not able to cope with the harsh society. Without her I would be long lonely and may now be in an Amsterdam garret painting. Ellen Lórien clearly has played an important role in the life of Johfra.