Live Auction, 7 October 2019

Sold for

R 569 000
Lot 592
Maggie Laubser; Blou Voël

Lot Estimate
R 400 000 - 600 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 569 000

About this Item

South African 1886-1973
Blou Voël
signed; signed, dated Febr 25th '72 and inscribed with the artist's address on the reverse
oil on canvas laid down on board
51 by 38,5cm excluding frame


During the last decade of her career Maggie Laubser returned again and again to her established themes: reapers, shepherds, fishermen, and birds. These motifs play out against a remembered landscape from experiences on her family’s farms and her later life near the sea. Many of Laubser’s birds during this period are oversized and dominate the picture plane, like the main bird in the present lot. They are no longer bent over searching for food, rather “their heads are lifted, as if they can at any moment be borne away into the sky.”1 In 1964, Laubser said that her works are “fairy tales in paint…with bright colours and light: they are part of my soul. And the birds…people would like to fly, always fly, always free as a bird, and absorb and enjoy as a child does.”2 For Laubser, birds became a symbol of her search for and expression of freedom.3

  1. Dalene Marais (1994) Maggie Laubser: Her Paintings, Drawings and Graphics. Johannesburg: Perskor. Page 56.
  2. Muller Ballot (2016) Maggie Laubser: A Window on Always Light. Stellenbosch: Sun Press. Page 261.
  3. Ibid. Page 260.


Mrs M Larizza, Rome, commissioned 1972.


International Exhibition of Women Artists, Rome, 1973.


Dalene Marais (1994) Maggie Laubser: Her Paintings, Drawings and Graphics, Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor. Illustrated on page 385, catalogue number 1751.

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