Sunflowers; Still life with books (verso) signed and dated 'Preller 34' (lower centre); signed and dated '38 Preller' (upper left) (verso) oil on canvas 54 x 43cm (21 1/4 x 16 15/16in).
PROVENANCE: A private collection
Sunflowers appear in Alexis Preller's oeuvre on multiple occasions, particularly in the 1940s when several works of the subject were included in his exhibitions in Johannesburg and Pretoria. In the early stages of his career, Preller was inspired by both Vincent van Gogh and his fellow South African Irma Stern, and the influence of both these artists is immediately clear in Sunflowers. Van Gogh's Sunflowers are some of the most iconic images in the world, and Preller combines the flowers with stylistic influences of Stern, the blooms leaping free of the vase and reaching across the canvas.