The fountains of Rome

In 1948 Johfra visits Rome for the first time, along with Diana. Not only the buildings and ruins on the Palatine impress Johfra, also the images of the fountains won't let go on him. Most fountains are formed around the ancient gods of the water element: Neptune, Amphitrite, tritons and naiads. He visits the world famous Trevi Fountain and Esedra Fountain and the fountain at the Navona square.


Nereïde on seahorse (1953)

Seahorses III (1965)

Triton with seahorses (1966)

Lateran Museum
Female on sea beast (1957)

During the rest of his life, the fountains returns regularly in his work. During the period of his visit untill the early fifties Johfra regularly makes drawings with water and mythological figures as subject. Mid-sixties he made two series of five drawings each containing seahorses in wild water theme.

The pinnacle has yet to come. Between 1987 and 1989 he produced a series of 16 large paintings on the fountains of Rome. He displays the images as he sees them in his mind, much more fantastic and more baroque than the gray fountains are in reality, and he puts them into a completely different world. The Fountain Series is fully exposed on March 17, 1990 at Jester Art Gallery (Amsterdam).

In 1997, when Johfra is looking for a gallery to present his work, Cornelia Steehouwer, the widow of Haarlem art critic Hein Steehouwer brings him in contact with Galerie Utrecht (now Morren Galleries). The gallery owner comes to France to pick up the Fountain Series. He has a potential buyer for one of the paintings, Trevi Fountain.


Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Seahorse 2

Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Lguana

Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Bird 1

Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Bird 2


Esedra Fountain
Triton

Navona Square
Rio de la Plata

Navona Square
The Moor

Navona Square
Neptunes Fountain 1


Navona Square
Neptunes Fountain 2

Trevi Fountain

Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Seahorse 1

Esedra Fountain
Naiad and Fish


Navona Square
Neptunes Fountain 3

Navona Square
The Ganges

Navona Square
The Danube

Navona Square
The Nile

However, the collector buys the complete Fountain Series. Galerie Utrecht organizes a first exhibition showing the complete Fountain Series, although all are already sold, with the intention to leave a sensational impression. Immediately thereafter, a second exhibition will be held with works that are now on sale. A winning formula.

In 2001, three years after the death of Johfra, a grand exhibition of 96 works by Johfra is held in the West Frisian Museum in Hoorn, including many masterpieces. Some paintings of the Fountain Series are part of this exhibition.

In 2010, an exhibition is held in Slot Zeist with the title Op de grenzen van het avontuur (translates: At the boundaries of adventure), the same title as the novel by Pierre Borgue. Part of the exhibited works are depicted in this book, but also some works of the Fountain Series are shown.

The Fountain Series are undoubtedly one of the highlights from the oeuvre of Johfra.