David Botha was born in Graaff-Reinet in 1921. He started his studies at the Cape Town Teachers Training College in 1941, where he qualified as an art teacher. He taught art at various high schools in Paarl from 1946 until 1979. In 1950 he studied at the Camberwell School of Art in London, also travelling and studying art in France, Italy and Spain. In 1967 he also travelled, this time to Europe and the Middle East.
Botha had the first of 50 one-man shows in Cape Town in 1944. He also participated in over 100 group exhibitions in South Africa and abroad during his lifetime.
Botha was both a painter and a graphic artist, with subject matter ranging from landscapes and seascapes to still lifes. He used various mediums other than oils, including watercolour, ink, pencil, charcoal and various graphic media. However, he is best known for his oil paintings of wet Cape street scenes – usually depicting scenes in Paarl and Stellenbosch.
David Botha is considered to be an exponent of ‘Cape Impressionism’, following the tradition that was begun by Pieter Wenning and made popular by Gregoire Boonzaier. His work shows this clearly in his subject matter and style, often depicting views of suburban streets. These oil paintings are filled with white-walled houses and bare oak trees, with the structures and trees outlined in black - a characteristic often adopted by the ‘Cape Impressionists’.
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