Old harbour, Hermanus by Tony de Freitas

As long ago as 1855 the old Harbour provided a rocky but safe shelter for the small fishing boats whose owners were drawn to Hermanus by the abundance and variety of fish.


It fell into disuse in the 1950’s when the New Harbour was built yet without the old Harbour there would have been no Hermanus! . . . and it is here that one still feels the past-little boats still berthed, the crashing of sea against the jagged rocks, and the cry of circling gulls.

Recollections of hardy fishermen having wrested their livelihood from the sea, carefully negotiating the tricky entrance to the little harbour to unload their cargo of fish. The old Harbour was proclaimed a national Monument in 1970 and an open air Museum in 1972. In 1977 replica buildings were built to capture the spirit of the past. (-By courtesy of the old Harbour Museum.)

Every artist that has ever attempted to paint this scene knows the challenge it presents. Doubtless each has aimed at achieving his or her own particular objective. Instead of trying to emphasize any particular aspect of the scene I’ve tried to reproduce in this painting that hazy glare of warm light that seems to hang in the air of Hermanus . . . an August sun that catches distant slopes . . .  spotlights the beautiful new  ‘Marine’ . . .  sets green slopes ‘on fire’ . . .  reflects lazily from museum rooftops and a glinting sea . . .


We found a box with the stories and water paintings by Tony De Freitas and had to share it!

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