Live Auction, 5 March 2018

Sold for

R 181 888
Gladys Mgudlandlu; Cattle
Lot 478

Lot Estimate
R 50 000 - 70 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 181 888
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About this Item

South African 1925-1979
signed and dated 1970; artist's name, title and date on a South African National Gallery label adhered to the reverse
gouache on paper
49 by 74cm excluding frame


The occurrence of cattle is a fascinating aspect of Mgudlandlu's paintings. Being familiar with the customs of her people, she knew that Xhosa women were not allowed near cattle. Only men handled these animals. Yet cattle were a recurrent motif in her paintings. Initially she viewed them from a distance and small herds were shown in the landscape. Then, in the 1970s, she gave close-up portrayals of oxen in twos (Off to Plough) and threes (Cattle (plate 47)), showing their horns and lumbar portions. According to Xhosa bird lore, the lumbar portion of an ox's back was the raven's resting place.

Ibid., page 44.


Acquired from the artist by the current owner's family.


South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Gladys Mgudlandlu Retrospective, 2003.


Elza Miles. (2002) Nomfanekiso, Who Paints at Night, The art of Gladys Mgudlandlu, Cape Town: Fernwood Press.  Page 44 and illustrated in colour on page 49, plate 47.

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