'I am delighted to hear that he is married. I am sure that you will like Mrs Pierneef. He is now going to do some of his finest work – of that I feel certain.’
So wrote Edward Roworth to Thom Steele in November 1924. Roworth, who was aware of Pierneef’s difficult, miserable and expensive break from his first wife, Agatha, was thrilled by Pierneef’s marriage to the more like-minded Dutchwoman, May Schoep. More to the point, Roworth’s prediction was spot-on: the paintings Pierneef produced in the first months of 1925 are some of his most dazzling, joyous and self-assured. The present lot, Landscape with Trees and Mountains, is a remarkable example from this energized period. At a glance, the landscape recedes in bands of electric colour: lime to yellow to amber to violet. Two formidable trees anchor the composition, their higher branches forming a decorative tracery against the sky. Pierneef dragged his brush down each straight trunk, leaving beautiful orange streaks where the sunlight touched the bark.
Stephan Welz & Co in Association with Sotheby's, Cape Town, 21 October 1991, lot 344.
Stephan Welz & Co in Association with Sotheby's, Cape Town, 24 March 1994, lot 334.