Live Virtual Auction, 14 September 2021
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About this Item
While perhaps better known for the linear clarity of his compositions, Pierneef’s rarer, more loosely impressionist and gently divisionist pictures, are quite spectacular. Pierneef was always comfortable working in this brisk, buttery and outdoorsy mode – having spent so much time painting en plein air with his early mentors Pieter Wenning, Anton van Wouw and George Smithard – but took a greater interest in the style after his working visit to Europe in 1925 The present lot is painted with a wonderful sense of freedom, moment and freshness. Pierneef seems to have dragged his brushes over the surface, almost casually, using combinations of orange, purple, turquoise and cream. The result is a quick-fire and very personal vision of a recognisable landmark. Comparing this luminous little painting to the artist’s famous and monumental depiction of Table Mountain for the Johannesburg Railway Station is particularly revealing: the view is similar, but the style thrillingly different.