The artist and designer Ernst de Jong was born in Pretoria. He devoted his school years to painting or swimming. The latter resulted in a sports scholarship to the University of Oklahoma in the USA where he completed a BA Degree in Fine Art, majoring in painting and design. In 1957 he returned to Pretoria with his American wife and fellow student, Gwen Drennan, where they opened the graphic design Ernst de Jong Studios in 1958.
In this expansive landscape de Jong renders abstract forms in full flight through the sparse use of sweeping lines and brilliant colours delicately framed in a theatrical setting. Lizé Groenewald writes that the artist’s early work typically focused on fantasy landscapes in oils, but that his commitment to hard edge abstraction appears to have occurred only after he relocated to Pretoria in 1957.