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Lot 198

South African 1812-1869
Belvidere Church, Knysna
inscribed and indistinctly dated 'Knysna, Cape Good Hope, 186*'
watercolour and pencil on paper
23,5 by 42cm excluding frame; 42,5 by 59 by 2cm including frame

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Thomas William Bowler (1812–1869) was a British landscape painter who lived at the Cape from 1834 until he returned to England in 1868. He travelled widely in the Cape and Natal colonies, visiting Knysna, Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred in the mid-1860s. He produced over 500 watercolours, some of which were published as lithographs and engravings, as well numerous oil paintings and other sketches.

The Holy Trinity Church, Belvidere, Knysna, is one of more than fifty churches established by the Anglican Bishop Robert Gray in the 25 years after he arrived in South Africa in 1848. More than 40 of these churches were designed by his wife Sophy, in a variety of 'traditional' church architecture styles. Belvidere is in a Norman/Romanesque revival style, with characteristically small, round-arched windows and thick stone walls. Gray recalls how he and Thomas Duthie, the owner of the land at Belvidere, "fixed upon a beautiful spot, commanding a fine view of the lake [Knysna Lagoon]" on which to build the church (quoted in Martin: 32).1

1. Desmond Martin (2005) The Bishop's Churches: The Churches of Anglican Bishop Robert Gray, Cape Town: Struik, pp 32 and 33.


The Harvey Collection of Africana

Frank Bradlow (1967) Thomas Bowler: His Life and Work, Cape Town: AA Balkema. Illustrated as figure 318 and dated 1863, pp 170 and 171.


Estimate: R 20 000 - 30 000 

Sold for R 26 000
Which is R 30 485 incl Buyer's Premium and VAT


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