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Lot 9*
Irma Stern
(South African, 1894-1966)
Still life with fish and flowers

Sold for £ 57,600 (US$ 81,127) inc. premium
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966)
Still life with fish and flowers
signed and dated 'Irma Stern 1920' (lower left)
oil on canvas
85 x 96cm (33 7/16 x 37 13/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Given by the artist as a wedding gift to her cousin, the daughter of Erna Harris (née Fels)
    Thence by direct descent to the current owner


    Stern's family came from Einbeck in North Germany, and her mother Hennie Fels had two sisters: Grete and Erna. The subject for the present lot came when Irma visited her aunt and saw the flowers and fish on her kitchen table. Irma was close to her Aunt Erna and family, who were often invited to stay at her house in Rosebank.

    This early work displays all the elements of Irma's early style, featuring design-like shapes with some smooth and gestural brushwork. A fondness for combining fish and flowers is a recurring theme in Stern's work. A comparable painting, The Fish God, 1924 is illustrated in M. Arnold, Irma Stern: A feast for the eye (Stellenbosch, 1995, p.130).

    We are grateful to Christopher Peter of the Irma Stern Museum for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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