Important South African and International Art

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Lot 299

South African 1886-1973
Women Carrying Wood
signed with the artist's initials
oil on canvas
37.5 by 47cm excluding frame

Sold for R 675 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 700 000

Estimate R 1 000 000 - 2 000 000


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Maggie Laubser’s striking painting, Women Carrying Wood, encapsulates the formative impressions of the artist’s youth – the golden hues and unspoilt nature of the wheat farm near Malmesbury where she was born, the vivid colours, shapes and forms of farm life, and the harmony of lines that continued to inform her work throughout her life.

There is a theatrical aspect to the painting as the foreground is occupied by the two women and a child going about the daily chore of carrying firewood to the whitewashed, thatched labourer’s cottage. No matter how mundane a task, Laubser imbues the figures with dignity, and sets them against a golden glow contrasted with swathes of deep blue, green and the deep mauve of the mountains. Typically, the backdrop of nature becomes subjugated to the focal figures as it cuts off the horizon with the mountains thereby emphasising the foreground even more strikingly.


From the Estate of a Gentleman.

Dalene Marais (1994). Maggie Laubser: Her Paintings, Drawings and Graphics, Johannesburg: Perskor, illustrated in black and white on page 201, catalogue number 629.


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