Still life with roses and apples signed and dated 'Irma Stern 1944' (upper right) oil on canvas 61 x 61cm (24 x 24in). within the original artist's frame
PROVENANCE Sotheby's, London, Topographical Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Prints, 23 November 1995, lot 239 A private collection
Stern's still lifes are perhaps some of the most vibrant and allegorical pieces in her oeuvre. This image addresses the ideas of love and passion, which are reflected by the free flowing motion of the composition and the sensuous reality of the work. The juxtaposition of the flowers and apples relates to the modernist formalism expounded in Cezanne's still lifes and to older traditions established by the seventeenth century realists who depicted food stuffs. Stern's ability to make an apple seem so tempting, and to produce roses so crisp and scented, is unmatched for its time on a local scale, and can indeed compete with acclaimed artists on an international scale.
BIBLIOGRAPHY M. Arnold, Irma Stern: A Feast for the Eye, (Stellenbosch, 1995), pp.128, 130