Ian Hertslet

Ian Hertslet

About the Artist

Born: 1957 - Namibia

Ian Hertslet first discovered his interest in art and music when he attended primary school in Johannesburg (much to his fathers’ chagrin, since he comes from a long line of teachers and doctors).  However his mother was an artist and it was her creativity and love of nature, music and dance that inspired him - something for which Ian will always be grateful.

But life at home was far from easy and by the time Ian got to high school, his parents had divorced.  Throughout his school years, Ian excelled as a sportsman, but inwardly he had already decided that matriculating was unrealistic and that university just wasn’t for him. He left Parktown Boys High, jumped on his motorbike and headed south to Cape Town where he shared a commune with a group of art students. During this time, he joined the advertising industry as a “visualiser” (art director) with a distinct preference for illustration.

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After pursuing a highly successful career as an illustrator, Ian Hertslet moved back up to Johannesburg and over the years has worked for most of the big advertising agencies in the country. For years he drew TV storyboards and illustration, working with colour and composition of every description. This gave him invaluable experience and taught him to work long, long hours, mostly under indescribable pressure.

As grateful as Ian is for this background – and for having has the chance to work with some exceptionally talented and terrific people, he realised that he needed time to pursue his career as a South African  artist and so left the corporate world of advertising and began freelancing and painting landscape art.

Style & Format

Ian’s varied style and thorough understanding of the way in which media can be mixed, gives that special difference to his work. This South African artist’s landscapes are realistic but at the same time poses a spiritual quality.

Ian quotes: “The passion for art my mother inspired in me remains undiminished. I am often asked the question of what do I paint? Well, as an artist I paint what moves me. I love the landscape of South Africa, the wildlife, the people and the faces of Africa. As long as I live in this beautiful land, I’ll never run out of inspiration. Maybe inspiration passes through the genes – my mother would be pleased since she studied at The Royal Academy in London, but unfortunately did not consummate her skills and training in a meaningful painting career.”


Ian Hertslet has been painting professionally since 1986 and has exhibited his work at many of the major galleries throughout the country.  Many of Ian’s South African landscape artworks hang in financial institutions, the largest being at Unibank’s head office in Rivonia, and many more have made their way to distant shores.

Purchase work by Ian Hertslet now by calling us on +27 (0)21 433 0908 or by emailing info@fineartportfolio.co.za.