Alexis Preller biography

Alexis Preller

Painting, Visual Artist

1911 – 1975


Who was Alexis Preller?

Alexis Preller was a South African painter. He trained at the Westminster School of Art from which he graduated in 1934 and later at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.

He was especially influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin and visited European galleries and museums to study these artists' works. Elements of Gauguin can be seen in his paintings on South African subjects such as the Garden of Eden. Over time, he developed his own style and his works showed an array of elements from nature, African masks and other African art. One finds this overlay of his personal style on African themes most illuminatingly expressed in works such as Basuto Allegory. Travels in Europe and North Africa gave further expression to his output which became influenced by the frescoes of Piero della Francesca and Egyptian murals. One sees this influence in works such as Hieratic Women.

Preller's later unique style isolated him from the artistic movements of the 20th century, nor did he fit into any conventional style of the old school.


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Sep 6, 1911
  • South Africa
  • Westminster School of Art
  • Académie de la Grande Chaumière
Lived in
  • Pretoria
Dec 13, 1975

on July 23, 2013

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