Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 12 October 2021
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
About this Item
Painted in 1944, during a very productive phase of his career, which saw the artist producing some of his most memorable compositions. These works are characterised by tonal harmony, atmospheric and linear perspective, and the deployment of natural elements for dramatic effect.
The drawing of this subject which features in J F W Grosskopf’s 1945 publication on the artist would have served for visual notes, recording the scene, from which he would paint the subject a few years later. It is interesting to note that the drawing differs from the painting in several ways; firstly, in that, the trees in the foreground are starkly lit, but in this composition, they are largely shaded to allow the view of the landscape to take centre stage. The middle ground has been increased, accentuated, and stylised to greatly emphasise the vertical aspect of the composition.
The lush, verdant foreground gives way to a curvilinear rhythm of valleys and ridges which populate the painting’s middle ground. These linear rhythms serve to describe and visually reinforce the dramatic contouring and ascending topography, while simultaneously supporting the massive granite landform above. The dome, rendered in pink and purple tones, contrasts gently against the green, yellow and ochre hues of which this painting is composed. A clouded sky serves to frame and monumentalise this prominent landform further.
The subject of this painting is a granite outcrop in Mpumalanga, in the Peebles Valley near White River. In historical terms, a road through this region, once linked Ohrigstad with Maputo and it is probable that Pierneef would have found this scene on his numerous travels.
J F W Grosskopf (1945) Pierneef: The Man and His Work, Pretoria: Van Schaik. The preparatory drawing for this work is illustrated plate 11, unpaginated.