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Henkel, Irmin

Henkel, Irmin (1921 – 1977)

Irmin Henkel was born in Renburg, nr Hanover, Germany 1921 – 1977

Born in 1921 in Renburg near Hanover, he was of German descent, but passed away in 1977 in Pretoria. From
1939 – 1946 he studied medicine, during and after service in the German army, practising orthopaedic surgery.
He was mostly, a self-taught artist.

Irmin Henkel achieved rapid prominence as a portraitist in South Africa, and his skills made him the almost
automatic choice for official government commissions. He possessed an engaging insouciant manner and sense of
humour, which relaxed the sitter and enabled the artist to observe his characteristic disposition and expressions.

His portraits were usually effective likenesses of the subject, but they fluctuate markedly in artistic quality. Irmin
Henkel’s handling of subject matter other than portraits was relaxed and colourful; his style in all was usually
loosely naturalistic.

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