Live Virtual Auction, 14 September 2021
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About this Item
After attempting to capture the harsh, clear and bright sunlight of the Highveld, Pieter Wenning relocated to the moderate climes of
the Mediterranean-like Western Cape, where the sombre, misty skies and lead-grey clouds suited him better and where he produced many of his most successful works. He was often seen roaming the neighbourhood in Cape Town’s southern suburbs – Observatory, Mowbray, Newlands, Claremont, Plumstead, and Bishopscourt – with sketchbook in hand, making quick drawings of captivating scenes and buildings. He soon, however, discarded the sketchbook for working en plain air, directly on canvas, with paint box readily at hand. DC Boonzaier (Gregoire’s father) notes in his diary that on 9 July 1916 – a Sunday afternoon – Wenning went to Mowbray to paint an old Dutch house and returned to the scene the following Sunday morning to continue working on the painting. The imposing structure of the building, with its rich, silky moss-covered thatched roof and its mouldy weatherworn walls embraced by ancient windswept trees, made a deep impression on Wenning, who revelled in capturing the evocative scene in muted grey, green and brown tones and impressing the viewer with serene harmonies of composition and colour. The Northern European impressionism of the Hague School of artists, especially George Breitner, Jozef Israels, the Maris brothers and Anton Mauve, made way for splendid Southern impressionism.
Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 26 September, lot 258.
J du P Scholtz (1973) DC Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van 'n Vriendskap, Cape Town: Tafelberg, listed as no. 30 and illustrated in black and white on page 102.