Important South African and International Art, Decorative Arts & Jewellery

including Paintings from the Labia Family Collection and the Late Peter and Regina Strack Collection

Cape Town  |  10:30am Mon 15 Oct 2018


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Frans Oerder; Azaleas in a Vase
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Lot 539

South African 1867-1944
Azaleas in a Vase
oil on canvas
78 by 97cm excluding frame

Sold for R 160 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 182 080

Estimate R 160 000 - 200 000

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Frans Oerder was well known for his technically accomplished floral still lifes. This painting depicts bright clusters of citrus-hued azaleas in a blue-green Chinese stoneware vase decorated with a floral motif. Described with purposeful brushstrokes, the vibrancy of the flower display is amplified by its arrangement against a neutral background receding into shadow. The artist’s interest in colour and tone are self-evident. For all his obvious facility as a naturalist painter, Oerder was capable of spontaneity and play. A close-up view of the orange and yellow flower at the lip of the stoneware vessel, just left of what appears to be a painted chip, reveal Oerder’s casual mastery of his medium. His use of paint here is energetic and unpremeditated. Commenting on these spontaneous moments in his later works, art historian Frieda Harmsen noted how Oerder, working in a “subdued impressionistic way, exaggerated tone values, strengthened colour or adapted shapes of organic forms to give greater distinction and visual interest to mundane objects.”1 The chief elements of Oerder’s composition – the flowering azaleas and Far-Eastern stoneware vessel – are well-known elements of Chinoiserie and Japonisme, styles in western art characterized by the use of Chinese and Japanese motifs and techniques. Oerder’s blissful work makes an appreciative nod to this earlier modernising influence. - Sean O’Toole

  1. Frieda Harmsen (1985). Looking at South African Art, Pretoria: JL van Schaik. Page 16.

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