Important South African Art, Furniture, Silver and Ceramics

Live Auction, 26 September 2011

Important South African Art Evening Sale

Sold for

ZAR 891 200
Lot 263
  • Pieter Wenning; The Bridge, Rondebosch

Lot Estimate
ZAR 800 000 - 1 200 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 891 200

About this Item

South African 1873-1921
The Bridge, Rondebosch

signed, inscribed with the title on the stretcher

oil on canvas
27,5 by 37cm excluding frame


This painting was number 14 on a list of works available for sale compiled on 1 September 1918 by DC Boonzaier for Wenning's sponsors and buyers.

This painting was completed on 21 August 1918 as noted by J du Preez Scholtz in his authoritative book on the friendship between DC Boonzaaier and Wenning: “Op die 21ste voltooi hy ‘n olieverfskildery van die straat wat van die Rondebosse stasie na die Hoofweg loop”.1
He goes on to point out that in DC Boonzaaier’s opinion, “The bridge is shown in the foreground and the whole picture is full of light and painted in Wenning’s characteristic style. One of his best efforts!” [Boonzaier’s emphasis]

The painting is indeed a gem, with the artist having captured the character of the place which remains to this day, the hub of Rondebosch’s commercial and social area. Through the clever positioning of the road that winds across Belmont Bridge, the viewer’s eye is drawn into the scene, past the horse-drawn carts, alighting on the radiant white walls, before arriving at Rondebosch Fountain, still regarded as the centre of the suburb. Finally our eyes come to rest on the cool, stone structure of St Paul’s Church, offering welcome respite from the busy activities outside and succour for the soul.

The church was designed by Charles Collier Michell and opened by Sir Benjamin D’Urban in 1834. The Fountain was donated to the Municipality of Rondebosch by George Pigot Moodie on 26 September 1891 and proclaimed a national monument on 10 April 1964. Contrary to its name, the Fountain is actually an ornamental trough for watering horses. This cast-iron structure was put together from a catalogue issued by Walter Macfarlane & Co, Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The lamp above the fountain apparently contained the first electric street light installed in Cape Town.2

1. J du P Scholtz, DC Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning, Verslag van 'n Vriendskap, Tafelberg, Cape Town, 1973, page 60.


Postcards courtesy of Mike Deeks


J du Preez Scholtz, D C Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van 'n Vriendskap, Tafelberg Publishers, Cape Town and Johannesburg, 1973, plate 97, illustrated page 125.                                                                                                                                                                      

View all Pieter Wenning lots for sale in this auction

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