The end of the journey

In February 1997, gallery owner Antonio Jester closes his gallery, Jester Art Gallery (Amsterdam). Johfra is without representation in the Netherlands.

In mid-1997, Johfra is brought into contact with Galerie Utrecht (now Morren Galleries). This gallery is granted the exclusive right to sell the work of Johfra. The gallery owner has about 60 paintings at his disposal which are stored in the Netherlands. Also he comes to France and selects paintings for an exhibition to be hold.

Heksensabbat (1997)

Landscape with skulls (1996)

The realm of Pluto (1997)

Fata morgana [unfinished] (1998)

River landscape [unfinished] (1998)

Detachment [unfinished] (1998)

Among the selected paintings are the complete Fountain Series, which will be sold to one buyer. This series forms Johfra's first exhibition at the gallery, even if all the paintings have already been sold.

A second exhibition is held immediately thereafter with the other works of Johfra. This exhibition is very successful also, almost everything is sold. In this period Johfra paints about a picture a month.

It is 1998 and not all is going well with Johfra, he gets more and more abdominal complaints. Only after some time the diagnosis bowel cancer is made. His forces are decreasing and this takes away his joy in painting. In his diary he noted on May 31, 1998: For now I will paint no more. It is also the day he completes his latest painting with the significant title Homecoming.

The following period consists mainly of visiting doctors and being together with Ellen, this elicits Ellen to make the statement: Johfra is dead, long live Frans. Together they often sit in the yard. They speak to each other about death and the journey that follows. The autobiography Symphonie Fantastique is finished just in time, giving Johfra the chance to see the result.

On November 6, 1998 at 2:30 hours Johfra dies.

Johfra's grave

On November 10, 1998 during a modest funeral ceremony the eulogy is spoken at the burial by his friend, the writer / poet Gerrit Luidinga. Several dozen listeners, from the Netherlands and from France, are also present. His grave is very simple.

Homecoming (1998)

Eulogy spoken by Gerrit Luidinga
next to him Cornelia Steehouwer and Ellen Lórien


After his death Stichting de Verbeelding (translates: the Imagination Foundation) is established to posthumously publish the book Hoogste lichten en diepste schaduwen (translates: Brightest lights and deepest shadows), written by Gerrit Luidinga, wich has become the standard for Johfra's work. In this book are many images from his work and included are passages from his twenty parts diary (from 1938 to 1998) of a total of some six thousand pages.

Currently, a comprehensive elaboration of the diaries is being worked on. The work index, comprising over sixteen hundred titles, is further complemented and other expenditures are in the offing, for example Sketchbooks with a selection from the thousands of drawings, which to date few have seen.