Louis de Wet was born in 1930 in South Africa where he spent the first twenty- two years of his life. He won a scholarship to read philosophy and mathematics at Witwatersrand University. But during this time, he developed a keen interest in art, and a desire to become a professional artist. So in 1952, he left South Africa to study in Paris.
Five years later, he bought a studio house in London, where he prepared for exhibitions in Paris, Turin, Milan, Brussels and London. He also spent time in Vienna, studying the 15th century Flemish technique of egg tempera and oil glazes. Here, he met contemporary Viennese artists, such as Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner and Anton Lehmden, with whom he remained loosely associated, showing in a major exhibition with them in Venice in 1994.
But above all, this study of the technique of the Old Masters (which he uses today in his paintings) led him to explore his interest in history, and develop his belief that the past must inform and influence the present.
Therefore, in 1983, de Wet bought Wenlock Abbey, in Shropshire, England and, in an effort to put his beliefs into practice, he has devoted much time and energy, and all the proceeds of his work to restoring the fabric of this 15th century Cluniac priory and recreating its interior. “It is my attempt” he says “to form a new link in an old chain.”