Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African
Lot 210
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African, 1886-1957) Oerwoud, Kruger Park
£150,000 - 200,000
US$ 250,000 - 330,000

Lot Details
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African, 1886-1957)
Oerwoud, Kruger Park
signed and indistinctly dated 'J.H. Pierneef 35 (?)' (lower left); bears inscriptions 'Oerwoud...KNP' and 'no 11' (verso)
oil on canvas
46 x 61.5cm (18 1/8 x 24 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    The collection of Harry Snitcher QC (1911-1998)
    A private collection

    Harry Snitcher joined the bar at the age of twenty and was a skilled advocate who also stood for parliament on three occasions. He served on the central committee of the Communist Party of South Africa and in 1947 was tried and acquitted for sedition.


    "If you paint a tree, you must know its roots" (the artist as quoted in Nel, 1990, p.157)

    Pierneef loved to paint trees from early in his career:

    "A wealth of studies of trees and landscapes became his practice material. He would examine a tree so minutely that he knew it as well as a carpenter knows the grain and texture of his wood. His sketchpads were filled with careful drawings of the flat-topped acacias, majestic camelthorns, the angular shapes of the leadwoods, the wild seringas with their delicate crowns of shiny leaves and the baobabs. Each sketch captured the structure and essence of the tree sketched. Pierneef regarded trees as evidence of the vital force between heaven and earth. Even when, in his later years as an artist, his canvas seemed to decline into a superficial fluency, the paintings of trees, done with love and respect, did not diminish in stature." (Nel, 1990, p.128)

    In the present lot several typical bushveld trees can be identified, including the Umbrella Thorn (Acacia tortilis), the Mountain Karee (Rhus leptodictya) and the Bushwillow and Leadwood (or Hardekool) varieties (Combretum species). "I like the hardekool tree, it stands forever" (the artist to Zakkie Eloff, as quoted in Nel, 1990, p.141).

    Pierneef regularly painted in the Kruger National Park, particularly in the Pafuri wilderness, near where the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers meet, in the northernmost region of the park. Founded as the Sabie Game Reserve in 1898, when Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic, proclaimed it a Government Wildlife Park to control hunting and to protect the animals within, it was expanded into the Kruger National Park in 1926.
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