JH Pierneef: Close to Home

Live Virtual Auction, 25 July 2023

JH Pierneef: Close to Home

Sold for

ZAR 438 995
Lot 28
  • Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Kremetartboom (Nilant 73)
  • Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Kremetartboom (Nilant 73)
  • Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Kremetartboom (Nilant 73)


Lot Estimate
ZAR 70 000 - 100 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 438 995

About this Item

South African 1886-1957
Kremetartboom (Nilant 73)

signed, dated 1922 and inscribed 'impr.' in pencil in the margin

linocut on paper
image size: 28,5 by 40cm; 55,5 by 64,5 by 4cm including frame

Notes

With its intricate tracery of branches, all bare in the winter and together so pleasingly architectonic, Kremetartboom is one of Henk Pierneef’s most iconic and thrilling linocuts. Considering the tree’s symbolic scale, monumental symmetry, and thrilling decorative power, no wonder it remains so sought-after. As one of many artists to be moved by the baobab’s unique form and grandeur – think Thomas Baines, Erich Mayer, Walter Battiss and Terence McCaw – Pierneef’s early version, so angular and stylishly reduced, is particularly daring. Guided in printmaking by George Smithard, Pierneef carved this plate in 1916, inspired by a trip to the Waterberg in the then Northern Transvaal. Along with a similarly dramatic depiction of a thorn tree on the Springbok Flats (Nilant 93), with branches arcing across the composition, Kremetartboom was his largest linocut to date. This particular impression was pulled in 1922, the year of his commission for the Ficksburg High School.

Literature

F E G Nilant (1974) Die Hout- en Linosneë van JH Pierneef, Cape Town: A A Balkema, another impression from the edition illustrated in black and white on page 108.

Gerard de Kamper and Chris de Klerk (2014) JH Pierneef in Print, Bela-Bela: Dream Africa, another impression from the edition illustrated in black and white on page 150, with the title Baobab Tree, Waterberg, Transvaal.

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