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‘Bertha Everard’s compelling cornfields [are] small renderings of exactly the same scenes which her daughters [Ruth Everard-Haden and Rosamund Everard- Steenkamp] painted at the same time. In Mrs Everard’s pictures there are, however, more trees fringing the cornfields. In contrast to Ruth’s conscientious attempt, Bertha’s painting reads as a pleasurable exercise, and it reveals the senior artist’s intuitive skill in placing expressive brush strokes and orchestrating colour. Both paint and pigment are rich, the golden yellows, dark verdants and violet-tinged blues redolent of full, sultry summer.
The treatment and colour of Mrs Everard’s pictures are astonishingly reminiscent of the well-known wheatfields painted by Maggie Laubser, even those with Belgian subjects which were executed in about 1922. But there is one significant difference: there are no human figures in the Everard pictures. In the paintings done after 1920 Bertha Everard’s pictorial world is invariably devoid of human forms. The spectator is nonetheless always conscious of humanity even when there is no clue.’1
- Frieda Harmsen (1980) The Women of Bonnefoi: The Story of the Everard Group, Pretoria: Van Schaik, pages 94 and 95.