Modern and Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 16 May 2023

Modern and Contemporary Art

Sold for

ZAR 519 863
Lot 57
  • Pieter Wenning; Skoolgebou Bishopscourt
  • Pieter Wenning; Skoolgebou Bishopscourt
  • Pieter Wenning; Skoolgebou Bishopscourt

Lot Estimate
ZAR 450 000 - 600 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 519 863

About this Item

South African 1873-1921
Skoolgebou Bishopscourt


oil on canvas
29,5 by 37,5cm excluding frame; 54 by 62,5 by 7cm including frame


He was a master of greens, and handled with complete control and sensitivity the vast range of greens which confront the landscape painter. He was able to express convincingly and effortlessly the tender green of the Cape spring … or the deep, rich olive greens of the mossy oaks in Newlands.

– Gregoire Boonzaier and Lippy Lipshitz

Born in The Hague in 1873, Pieter Wenning, a one-time railwayman in Amsterdam, arrived in Pretoria in 1905 to take up a clerking position at JH de Bussy, a bookshop and stationer. During the succeeding decade, and although self-taught and desperately poor, he produced a dazzling series of Transvaal landscapes characterized by soft-glowing horizons, eroded dongas and ramshackle dwellings. His assured handling of paint, and his gift for the atmospheric, made a significant impact on the small group of artists then working on the Highveld, particularly a young Henk Pierneef. Seeking new opportunities, and under the wing of the cartoonist DC Boonzaier, Wenning moved to the Cape in 1917. Usually painting en plein air, and adjusting his palette to the murkier light, he was drawn to the rustic and romantic cottages of Claremont, Newlands and Bishopscourt, as well as the crumbling, exotic streets of the Malay Quarter. Painted in the winter of 1918, exhibited that September, and purchased by the then Lady de Villiers, the current lot, Skoolgebou, Bishopscourt, catches the artist at his vibrant best. The white-washed school building, with its mossy roof in near-phosphorescent greens, is nestled in the shadows of Table Mountain. The scene is beautifully intimate and enchanting.


Lord and Lady de Villiers, Cape Town.
Louis Schachat.
Private Collection, Johannesburg.
Aspire Art Auctions, Johannesburg, November 2017, lot 15.
Private Collection, Johannesburg.


Scholtz, J. du P. (1973) D.C. Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning. Verslag van ‘n Vriendskap. Cape Town: Tafelberg Uitgewers Bpk. pp.58, 62, 89, illustrated on p122.

View all Pieter Wenning lots for sale in this auction

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