Important South Africa and International Art

Johannesburg  |  4:00pm Mon 23 May 2016


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Lot 250

South African 1873-1921
Varkblom in Rooi Vaas
signed, inscribed with the title on a gallery label adhered to the reverse
oil on canvas laid down on board
36 by 24cm excluding frame

Sold for R 300 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 341 040

Estimate R 300 000 - 400 000

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This still life dates from a significant episode in Pieter Wenning’s professional biography. In June 1916, Wenning took a leave of absence from his job as a bookseller in Pretoria to work on a new body of paintings in Cape Town. Already an established landscape artist and member of The Individualists, a progressive grouping of Pretoria painters that included JH Pierneef, Wenning’s two-month stay in Newlands led to his decision to become a fulltime artist. He was 41. This is the only still life Wenning produced during his stay, a key transition period, which was followed by what painter Gregoire Boonzaier later characterised as a “short, tragic, yet brilliant career”.1 The political cartoonist DC Boonzaier, who assisted Wenning during his career-influencing stay, catalogued this work. He additionally observed that it was the only work Wenning produced inside his lodgings at Newlands House.2

1 Boonzaier, Gregoire. (1968) ‘Pieter Wenning’ in Our Art, Pretoria: Lantern. Page 134.

2 Scholtz, J Du P. (1973) D.C. Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van 'n Vriendskap, Cape Town: Tafelberg. Pages 29 and 33.

Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, Wenning Commemoration Exhibition, 1967

Scholtz, J Du P. (1973) D.C. Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van 'n Vriendskap, Cape Town: Tafelberg. Illustrated on page 101.

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