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Lot 18
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966) Madeira rooftops
£70,000 - 90,000
US$ 120,000 - 150,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966)
Madeira rooftops
signed and dated 'Irma Stern 1931' (lower right)
37.4 x 49cm (14 3/4 x 19 5/16in).


    The collection of Mr and Mrs Michael Berger of Kenilworth
    Thence by descent to the current owner

    The 1930s were an emotionally turbulent time for Irma Stern. In 1931 she escaped to Madeira, an island she had encountered briefly on her sea voyages, where she spent three months painting and considered the troubled state of her marriage to Dr Johannes Prinz. The Madeiran way of life would certainly have brought back memories of her Portuguese lover Hippolyto Raposo.

    "Madeira, to me a wordless concept of earliest delights. Sun and bright colours and beautiful children with big, dark eyes. Flowers covering the walls of the brightly-coloured houses. Childhood memories, and yet they are somehow so firmly anchored in the blood that the words one day ripened like a slow, creeping fever. I had to go to Madeira." (the artist as quoted in Arnold, 1995, p.20)

    It was in Madeira that Stern completed paintings that were significant milestones in her struggle to discover her first language: the visual language of colour.

    The present lot is comparable with Madeira, offered in these rooms on 18 February 2009, lot 12.

    M. Arnold, Irma Stern: A feast for the eye, (Vlaeberg, 1995)
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