VISIONARY REVUE

ECSTATIC DEATH
ORGASM
THE SAGE OF
KATMANDU

      The course of their lives changed when the couple met Cor Damme, a Dutch American collector who introduced them to the Lectorium Rosicrucianum in Harlem. For the next decade, the couple would deepen their studies of Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and Esoteric symbolism at the school of the Rosicrucians. It became their new creative environment, their world. Eventually, Johfra tried to distance himself from the Lectorium, while Diana continued to make it the centre of her activities.
       In 1958, Diana met Ellen Lórien, a fellow artist who was following courses at the Lectorium. The two became friends, and Diana invited Ellen to come to their home in The Hague, where Ellen could study old master’s techniques. Unexpectedly, Johfra and Ellen fell in love. Distressed, Ellen left for Amsterdam, while Johfra and Diana tried to patch together their relationship - without success. In 1962 Johfra followed Ellen to Amsterdam, and the sixteen year relationship with Diana came to an end.
      Deeply hurt by this turn of events, Diana threw herself into painting and her activities at the Lectorium. She also, from this time forward, took


 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

REX AND REGINA II
REX AND REGINA II


the task of survival as an artist very seriously, acquiring portrait commissions, taking on students, and promoting herself in the media.
      Her work, however, showed how intensely she felt the absence of Johfra in her life. A painting called Rex and Regina ostensibly showed Akhenaton and Nefertiti, but these two bore an undeniable resemblance to Johfra and Diana. A 1964 self-portrait bore the curious title ‘At Peace with Johfra’. And, it was only after Johfra's departure that she began using the surname Vandenberg.



 
 
 


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