Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 13 April 2021

Cecil Skotnes; Stillewe met Bottels
Lot 542

Lot Estimate
R 400 000 - 600 000
Current Bid
Starting at R 350 000 1 saved
Cape Town Office
Condition Report
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About this Item

South African 1926-2009
Stillewe met Bottels
canvas laid down on board
100 by 122cm excluding frame; 104 by 126.5 by 4cm including frame


In 1977 the Cape Wine Growers Association (KWV) commissioned Cecil Skotnes to produce artworks to display in the Laborie Manor House in Paarl. Among the pieces he delivered was Still Life with Bottles (lot 542), a depiction of a circular table crowded with glass bottles alongside a bowl of fruit. The composition is rendered in a radically flattened perspective typical of his late-career still lifes, where vinous and gastronomic pleasure is often inventoried as much as evoked. In 1979, the same year Skotnes moved to Cape Town from Johannesburg, KWV commissioned him to produce a further still life for its Arts Calendar series. Wine that Delights the People’s Heart (lot 541) is more classically proportioned but nonetheless consistent with how Skotnes graphically delineated his subjects in his wood panels and later canvases. A common attribute of all of Skotnes’s still lifes is their sense of pleasure stilled, rather than arrested or interrupted, as well as his use of warm, earthy tones reminiscent of Cézanne, an early influence. To loosely paraphrase the poet Rilke on a Cézanne, Skotnes’s still lifes possess an “inner equilibrium” of colours that never “stand out or obtrude”, but instead evoke a “calm, almost velvet-like air” demonstrative of his ability to contain the loudness of colour within a picture.1

1.  Rainer Maria Rilke (2002) ‘Paris VI, 29, Rue Cassette. 14 October 1907’ in Letters on Cézanne. New York, North Point Press, page 76.


The KWV Collection.


Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 7 to 21 April 2011.

Irma Stern Museum (UCT), Cape Town, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 5 to 12 May 2011.

Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 20 May to 19 June 2011.

William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 1 to 10 July 2011.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 22 July to 1 August 2011.

Nirox Project Space, Johannesburg, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 12 August to 28 August 2011.

Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 13 October to 29 October 2011.

Ron Belling Gallery, Port Elizabeth, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 16 November to 2 December 2011. 

Laborie Wine Farm, Paarl, KWV Cecil Skotnes Exhibition Tour, 15 December 2011 to 13 January 2012.  


Hymli Krige and Elsa Hoogenhout (2011) The Epic of Everlasting: An Exhibition of the Art of Cecil Skotnes, Paarl: KWV, exhibition catalogue, illustrated in colour, unpaginated.

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