Day Sale

Timed Online Auction, 9 - 28 May 2024

Day Sale

Sold for

ZAR 15 243
Lot 37
  • Alexis Preller; Sketch for Wounded Sculpture
  • Alexis Preller; Sketch for Wounded Sculpture

Lot Estimate
ZAR 3 000 - 5 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 15 243

About this Item

South African 1911-1975
Sketch for Wounded Sculpture
ink and crayon on paper
33 by 22cm excluding mount; 45 by 34,5cm including mount, unframed


Preller was taken prisoner in June 1942 when Tobruk fell to Rommel’s forces. After stints in prisoner-of-war camps in Libya and Italy, he returned to Pretoria in August 1943, and was demobilized that October. The North African Campaign had left a telling mark, and despite having witnessed moments of compassion throughout, the inhumanity and violence had scarred him. No surprise then that images from his service, whether of loneliness, divinity, mutilation, or optimism, pervaded the group of pictures in the years after his homecoming. Some of the more powerful and symbolic paintings from this important period included Fleur du Mal (1944), Revelation (1945) and Wounded Sculpture (1947), for which the current lot is a preparatory sketch. Preller used Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Period sculptures, with their ideal forms mutilated over centuries, as a metaphor for the youthful bodies he had seen ruined during the war. The artist would have been familiar with The Rampin Rider from his visits to the Louvre in 1946.

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