Important South African Art & Furniture, Decorative Arts and Jewellery

Including the Dr Johan Bolt Cape Collection

Cape Town  |  10:00am Mon 21 Oct 2013


Select a Session

Go to Lot

Robert Gwelo Goodman; Dawn on Table Mountain
Click on the image to zoom

Lot 686

South African 1871-1939
Dawn on Table Mountain
oil on canvas
69.5 by 95.5cm excluding frame

Sold for R 850 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 966 280

Estimate R 300 000 - 400 000

Click here to view all the results
Request a Condition Report


The presence of these two impressive paintings by Robert Gwelo Goodman on one sale provides the rare opportunity of seeing some of the artist’s finest works and assessing how his French training and exposure to the international art world impacted on the development of his style. In 1895 he studied at Paris’s famed Académie Julian where Henri Matisse was a fellow pupil. Following success in London when three landscape paintings were accepted at The Royal Academy in 1898 and a painting tour of India in 1903/4, he re-settled in South Africa in 1911.

The influence of the French Realists encouraged his interest in familiar topographical environments and what art historian, Evelyn Cohen, called an “honest portrayal of the major features of a specific scene”.1 The paintings provide uncommon insights into the historical development of Tulbagh and Cape Town, before urban expansion. In addition to revealing how these places appeared in a bygone era, Goodman’s painterly treatment evokes the unique qualities of each location.

His canvases primed with Van Dyck brown, in the academic tradition, provide strength and stability, while their surface vitality derives from the broken brushstrokes inspired by Impressionist and Divisionist painters. Successfully employed in the vivid Tulbagh landscape, these multiple brush marks capture and refract light with shimmering effect and contribute to the atmosphere of intense heat. By contrast, the verdant forest and cool tones of Table Mountain are rendered with a subtlety that underscores the tranquillity of the scene at daybreak.
1. Cohen, Evelyn. 1988. ‘Early Training and French Vision in South African Art Prior to 1920’. In Alexander, Lucy; Bedford, Emma and Cohen, Evelyn. Paris and South African Artists 1850-1965, Cape Town: South African National Gallery. Page 15.

Royal Institute Galleries, 195 Piccadilly, London, 6 - 28 June, 1924

Newton Thompson, Joyce. (circa 1951) Gwelo Goodman: South African Artist, London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd. Page 135, illustrated between pages 68 and 69.

Newton Thompson, Joyce. 'Gwelo Goodman (1871-1939)', Our Art, Pretoria: The Journal Lantern in Collaboration with SA Broadcasting Corporation. Illustrated on page 63, figure III.

Other lots that might interest you

Robert Gwelo Goodman; Distant Mountains, Wemmershoek
Lot 549
Robert Gwelo Goodman
Distant Mountains, Wemmershoek

R 40 000 - 60 000
Robert Gwelo Goodman; Himalayas, India
Lot 537
Robert Gwelo Goodman
Himalayas, India

R 50 000 - 60 000
Robert Gwelo Goodman; Hermanus
Lot 548
Robert Gwelo Goodman

R 20 000 - 30 000
Robert Gwelo Goodman; Full of Flushed Heat - Tulbagh
Lot 687
Robert Gwelo Goodman
Full of Flushed Heat - Tulbagh

R 250 000 - 350 000
Gerard Bhengu; Veld Fire I
Lot 573
Gerard Bhengu
Veld Fire I

R 30 000 - 40 000
Wolf Kibel; Old Man (After Rembrandt)
Lot 704
Wolf Kibel
Old Man (After Rembrandt)

R 40 000 - 60 000