Moonlight, Venice signed 'RGGoodman' (lower left) pastel on canvas 77 x 94cm (30 5/16 x 37in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired from Louis Schachat, Cape Town, by the current owner
Gwelo Goodman visited Venice in 1910. A comparable pastel work, Venice, is illustrated in Newton Thompson (opp. p.4). Other Venetian works by the artist were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1910 and 1915 and are in the collections of the National Gallery in Canada, the Manchester Art Gallery, and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. It is possible that the present lot is the same as Moonlight, Venice, exhibited in Durban in August 1916.
Gwelo Goodman was a master of pastel, and the subject of the present lot - the combination of moonlight and the resultant reflections on the water - was perfect for the medium:
"Its daintiness and elusive qualities: the directness and simplicity of statement, which it implies and, above all, the necessity for consummate drawing..."
"Pastel is capable of a richness and velvety depth of colour impossible in any other medium. There are also certain phases of atmosphere, colour and texture to which it lends itself admirably...As for the subtle intricacies of movement and reflecting surfaces on water...I know nothing so effective or enthralling in its completeness.
"What scientific reason there is I cannot say, but pastels seem to convey the illusion of holding and reflecting actual light more than any other painting medium." (the artist, as quoted in Newton Thompson pp.28-29)
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Newton Thompson, Gwelo Goodman, South African artist, (London, 1951)