Modern and Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 16 May 2023

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Lot 54
  • Irma Stern; Still Life with Flat Irons, Apples and Blossoms in a Jug
  • Irma Stern; Still Life with Flat Irons, Apples and Blossoms in a Jug
  • Irma Stern; Still Life with Flat Irons, Apples and Blossoms in a Jug


Lot Estimate
ZAR 4 000 000 - 6 000 000
Selling Price
Unsold
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About this Item

South African 1894-1966
Still Life with Flat Irons, Apples and Blossoms in a Jug

signed and dated 1955

oil on canvas
86,5 by 68cm excluding frame; 103,5 by 85 by 3,5cm including frame

Notes

The focus of this late yet consummate still life by Irma Stern is clearly the tall jug with a nude figure painted on the surface of one of her own ceramic art works. No fewer than fifteen of these are listed in the 1971 inventory of the contents of Stern’s house, The Firs, now the Irma Stern Museum, administrated by the University of Cape Town. The figure establishes a sinuous, curved line, repeated in the shape of the jug, its one handle, as well as the curved black branches full of white blossoms. The figure is posited against a thin white background that resembles a veritable train, or veil, echoed in the blossoms forming a bridal veil of some sort over the whole composition. The jug, positioned on a decorated orange-brown table, is flanked by two black flat irons, their shapes enhancing the subtle diagonal lines of the table on which they are placed at a jaunty angle. The orange-brown tones contrast with the green ones of the apples in the bowl and on the surface of the table, creating an interesting interplay of secondary colours. Blossoms and apples together in this still life inadvertently suggest seasonal changes: from buoyant early spring to the harvesting in late autumn. The curved branches lend an additional dynamic to this very lively composition.

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