Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 13 April 2021

Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Findlay Farm, Magaliesberg
Lot 580

Lot Estimate
R 1 200 000 - 1 600 000
Current Bid
Starting at R 1 200 000 1 saved
Cape Town Office
Condition Report
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About this Item

South African 1886-1957
Findlay Farm, Magaliesberg
signed and dated 1924
oil on canvas
60.5 by 90.5cm excluding frame; 84 by 113 by 5cm including frame


Findlay Farm, Magaliesberg is a striking, important work produced in a transformational period in Pierneef’s life. Shortly after his divorce from his first wife Agatha in 1924, the artist was commissioned by Mr Johan Schoeman to paint landscapes of the area surrounding Hartbeespoort Dam. He stayed at the Agnes Hotel while he painted. There, in the May of that year, he met a young woman from the Netherlands, May Schoep, who he would marry six months later. According to his friends, the new relationship released Pierneef from a ‘heavy burden’, and allowed him to paint with a new gusto and enthusiasm.1 The current lot catches the artist in this upbeat moment. The painting is an exquisite snapshot of the 1500 hectare farm owned by Mr John Findlay, one of Schoeman’s legal advisors, captured in earthy tones and with thoughtful brushstrokes. Some of the ramshackle buildings and barns that Pierneef showed in the distance were soon to be razed or renovated: Findlay erected a Cape Dutch style family home on the site in 1927 (the choice of style likely inspired by Lady Phillips’s high-profile refurbishment of Vergelegen in the early 1920s, as well as the restoration of Groot Constantia in 1926).

1.  P G Nel (Ed) (1990) J H Pierneef: His Life and Work, Cape Town and Johannesburg: Perskor, page 62.

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