Live Virtual Auction, 7 - 8 November 2021

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Unsold
Lot 108
Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
  • Diane Victor; Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision

Lot Estimate
R 700 000 - 900 000
Selling Price
Unsold
Location
Johannesburg

About this Item

South African 1964-
Nastagio Degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision
each signed under the frame
charcoal and chalk pastel on paper
each 148,5 by 98,5cm, excluding frame; each 157,5 by 107,5 by 4,5, including frame; 148,5cm excluding frame

Notes

‘The mistreatment of women is explored in Nastagio degli Onesti and the Difficult Decision (1992). This is a narrative triptych that questions the roles women are often forced to assume in society. Renaissance allusions are present in the title, and visually in coloured background sequences taken from narrative panels by Botticelli. The panels show a knight and his dogs pursuing a young woman through a forest, catching her and cutting out her heart. They were violent cautionary tales to recalcitrant women and were made for a wedding chamber, thus suggesting that they would function as a means of psychological control over the new wife. The rottweiler nestling his head on the woman’s lap suggests control over women, the dog symbolising the man courting her who is only momentarily passive. His strength, and the imminent danger of his wrath, are attested to by the Rottweilers attacking the woman in the panel behind. Whenever dogs are used in conjunction with women the inference is of woman as ‘bitch’; here one presumes the woman being courted will become the ‘bitch’ of the forceful man with a bandaged, truncated arm. His red military shoulder insignia not only connects him visually to the knight in a red cloak but also refers to the violence of military professions in which ‘protectors’ of the patriarchal state are, by inference, destroyers of women. The dogs in each panel derive from Victor’s work for the local vet – the central dog being, quite literally, a dog anaesthetised and laid out for castration. The third panel appears to be a quasi-religious
annunciation scene, complete with St Joseph’s Lily denoting purity, and a clearly noncompliant pregnant woman, contrasting with the serenely acquiescent Virgin Mary in Western iconography. The cross section of her belly shows a little dog curled up, in reference to her expected role as submissive nurturer.’1

1. Karen von Veh (2008) ‘Gothic Visions:Violence, Religion and Catharsis in Diane Victor’s Drawings’, in Bronwyn Law- Viljoen (ed) Diane Victor, TAXI BOOK: 013, Johannesburg: David Krut, page 68.

Literature

Elizabeth Rankin and Karen von Veh (2008) Diane Victor, Johannesburg: David Krut, illustrated on pages 72 and 73.


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