Wheatfields near Stellenbosch signed '.Pierneef.' (lower right) oil on board 46 x 62cm (18 1/8 x 24 7/16in).
The South African landscape was a continuous source of inspiration to Pierneef. He first visited and exhibited in Stellenbosch 1921 and would continue to visit, paint and exhibit in the Cape throughout his life. Wheatfields near Stellenbosch demonstrates the artist at the pinnacle of his career, the period between 1925 and 1936, which is regarded as his most valuable contribution to South African art.
The geometric landscape seen here, accentuated with a strong sense of line, draws the eye into the picture. The gentle curves of the mountains fuse with the opaque collection of clouds, providing a striking contrast to the structural and linear demarcations of the landscape. This unity of the translucent clouds with the landscape is suggestive of the interplay between the earthly and heavenly forces. The pastel-hued patchwork of the crops is another element that heightens the sense of harmony which permeates the scene. In this image, Pierneef integrates the natural forms and human cultivation into a sense of monumental order.
BIBLIOGRAPHY P.G. Nel, J.H. Pierneef: His Life and His Work, (Cape Town, 1990), pp.148, 149