Landscape, Stellenbosch signed and dated 'J.H.Pierneef.37.' (lower right) oil on canvas 76 x 101.5cm (29 15/16 x 39 15/16in).
Pierneef first visited and exhibited in Stellenbosch in 1921, to great local acclaim. He would continue to visit, paint and exhibit in the Cape throughout his life, often staying with J.F.W. Grosskopf, his good friend and later biographer. The current lot was painted in 1937, the year in which Pierneef at the height of his career after completing both the Johannesburg Station Panels (1931-3) and the South Africa House commission in London (1933-4) was asked by the South African National Gallery in Cape Town to submit his work for the Empire Coronation Exhibition in London.
Landscape, Stellenbosch demonstrates the artist at the peak of his career. A tree and shrub-lined path draws the eye into the picture. Gentle curves of path, field and hill lead the eye on a gentle journey up into the cloud-shrouded mountains, taking in each element of the harmonious scene en route. The pastel-hued patchwork of crops is familiar from other Stellenbosch works, while the composition as a whole integrates natural forms and human cultivation into a scene of "monumental order...there is nothing haphazard or accidental in this landscape". Rather, a sense of peace and stillness reigns supreme.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Berman, Painting in South Africa, (Pretoria, 1993), p.46