Live Auction, 12 November 2018

Jean Welz; Seated Figure
Lot 33

Lot Estimate
R 80 000 - 100 000
Selling Price
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About this Item

South African 1900-1975
Seated Figure
signed and dated 57
oil on board
40,5 by 30,5cm excluding frame


This picture is an enigma. At first glance, arrested movement comes to mind. Who is this youth? Is he a dancer or an actor? Is he taking a short break between two acts? Or has he just acknowledged a final curtain call?

The youth’s pose echoes the quintessential contrapposto of classical sculpture. Welz refrains from meticulous delineation and underscores the sense of balance by suggestive colour touches of the artist’s brush. A touch of warm colour, crimson, in the overall cool palette, suggests the finery embellishing the youth’s cap. Seated for a moment, the youth’s weight finds support on an armrest. Subsequently his hand freely weighs down. The other hand balances its counterpart. It is the active element and seemingly holds a bouquet close to his chest.

The composition is a study in balance and counter balance.

Elza Miles

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