François Krige and his wife Sylvia had family friends, the Pienaars, who owned a farm in the Koo Valley, near the town of Montagu where the Kriges lived. Whenever the Pienaars were away, the Kriges would take care of the farm, which provided the ideal opportunity for painting excursions in the nearby hills. The present lot was painted on the farm, and it depicts a rocky outcrop with clumps of veld grass and other indigenous vegetation typical of the area, including a protea bush about to flower on the right. The artist has used a distinctly post-impressionist palette, reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh’s landscapes painted while he was in Arles, and the composition brings to mind Paul Cézanne’s numerous paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire, the craggy peak near his home town of Aix-en-Provence, a motif he returned to time and again. Like Cézanne, Krige has used blocks of colour – green, yellows, blues and lilacs – to construct the forms on the picture plane, but he remains closer to representation and has not moved as close to abstraction as the Provençal master did in his later years.
Bonhams, London, 14 October 2009, lot 161.