Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine

Live Virtual Auction, 8 - 11 November 2020

Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art Part I
  • Terence McCaw; Mamathes Basutoland
  • Terence McCaw; Mamathes Basutoland
  • Terence McCaw; Mamathes Basutoland
  • Terence McCaw; Mamathes Basutoland
  • Terence McCaw; Mamathes Basutoland

Lot Estimate
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000

About this Item

South African 1913-1978
Mamathes Basutoland
oil on canvas laid down on board
59,5 by 75,5cm excluding frame; 70 by 86 by 4cm including frame


Terence McCaw’s natural talent and style was nurtured initially by Sydney Carter and Emily Fern at the Witwatersrand Technical Art School where he studied from 1930 to 1933. After a one man show in Cape Town, he journeyed to London to study at the Heatherley School of Art and the Central School of Art in 1935. At the Heatherley School of Art he met Freida Lock and Gregoire Boonzaier who were to become fellow New Group founders in 1938.

It is not surprising then that these three painters initially shared some strong stylistic similarities in terms of colour, paint application and compositional structure. McCaw’s paintings from this time were bold, often heavily layered with impasto paintwork and the use of wet-on-wet paint application. His impressionistic style, which included elements of Cézanne, Sisley and Wenning, was based on sound drawing, composition, and construction, and is to be seen in all three of these works.

McCaw first visited Lesotho with François Krige and Walter Battiss in 1939 and returned to paint there several times in the 1950s. Prized works from this period like Mamathes, Basutoland (lot 711) exhibit richly layered and painted surfaces together with an otherworldly scenic tranquility and beauty.

The White Church, Wynberg, Cape (lot 712) is a view of the historic Dutch Reformed Church in Wynberg, built in 1831 and celebrated in another version of this composition sold by Strauss & Co, The Old Dutch Reformed Church, Wynberg for R284 200 as lot 718 on 17 March 2014. Like the other example, this wintery and atmospheric work records congregants leaving the church on a quiet Sunday morning against the historic architectural backdrop.

Liesbeek River, Cape (lot 713), dating from 1961, celebrates the convergence of man-made structures and nature in this riverside landscape. Its atmosphere is timeless and stylistically redolent of the work of Alfred Sisley, with sparse groups of people ambling within the scene, a well-proportioned sky, and river and foliage rendered in rich colours and flickering, lyrical brushwork.


McTears Auctioneers, Glasgow, 23 May 2013 lot 1682.

Private Collection.


View all Terence McCaw lots for sale in this auction

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