Mon, 27th Mar 2017 15:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

 
Lot 116
 
Lot 116 - Pieter Wenning (Netherlands 18873-1921)

116

Pieter Wenning (Netherlands 18873-1921)
By Riversidweg, Nuweland

oil on board, signed

Signature details: signed
Edition: Ashbey’s Galleries, Cape Town, 1921. South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Loan Exhibition of Works by the Late Peter (sic) Wenning, 16 June to 14 August 1931. Exhibited as Mountain Scene. Lions International, Johannesburg, 1869–1969 Century of South African Art, 1969. Exhibited as Aandskemer. Association of The Friends of the Pretoria Art Museum, Collections of The Friends, March to April 1973. Exhibited as Twilight. Pretoria Art Museum, Pieter Wenning (1873– 1921): Commemorative Exhibition, 8 September to 26 October 1973. Exhibited as Aandskemering. South African National Gallery, Cape Town, An exhibition to commemorate the century of the birth of the artist Pieter Wenning, September
Literature: Du Preez Scholtz, J. (1973). D.C. Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van ‘n vriendskap. Cape Town: Tafelberg, p.85 and footnote p.120, illustrated plate 141 on p.142. Solomon, E. (1969). 1869–1969 Century of South African Art. Johannesburg: Lions International. (1973). Collections of ‘The Friends’. Pretoria: Association of Friends of the Pretoria Art Museum. (1973). Pieter Wenning (1873–1921): Commemorative Exhibition. Catalogue. Pretoria: Pretoria Art Museum. (1973). An exhibition to commemorate the century of the birth of the artist Pieter Wenning. Catalogue. Cape Town: South African National Gallery.

Sold for R397,880
Estimated at R350,000 - R450,000


Condition Report

Minor surface dirt, otherwise good.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

 

oil on board, signed

Signature details: signed
Edition: Ashbey’s Galleries, Cape Town, 1921. South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Loan Exhibition of Works by the Late Peter (sic) Wenning, 16 June to 14 August 1931. Exhibited as Mountain Scene. Lions International, Johannesburg, 1869–1969 Century of South African Art, 1969. Exhibited as Aandskemer. Association of The Friends of the Pretoria Art Museum, Collections of The Friends, March to April 1973. Exhibited as Twilight. Pretoria Art Museum, Pieter Wenning (1873– 1921): Commemorative Exhibition, 8 September to 26 October 1973. Exhibited as Aandskemering. South African National Gallery, Cape Town, An exhibition to commemorate the century of the birth of the artist Pieter Wenning, September
Literature: Du Preez Scholtz, J. (1973). D.C. Boonzaier en Pieter Wenning: Verslag van ‘n vriendskap. Cape Town: Tafelberg, p.85 and footnote p.120, illustrated plate 141 on p.142. Solomon, E. (1969). 1869–1969 Century of South African Art. Johannesburg: Lions International. (1973). Collections of ‘The Friends’. Pretoria: Association of Friends of the Pretoria Art Museum. (1973). Pieter Wenning (1873–1921): Commemorative Exhibition. Catalogue. Pretoria: Pretoria Art Museum. (1973). An exhibition to commemorate the century of the birth of the artist Pieter Wenning. Catalogue. Cape Town: South African National Gallery.

(1)

21 x 29 cm

Dr. W.M.R. Malherbe.

Notes:

This little gem by Pieter Wenning is a striking example by an artist who delighted in plein air painting like the many artists of The Hague School whose work he studied and admired whilst living in Holland. Wenning would have been well acquainted with the work of these painters, such as Anton Mauve (1838-1888), JH Weissenbach (1824-1903), and the Maris brothers, Jacob Maris (1837-1899), Matthys Maris (1839-1917) and Willem Maris (1844-1910). The paintings of the Barbizon Group at Fontainebleau and the work of the French Impressionists were also formative influences on his work.In 1905 Wenning was transferred by the Dutch firm, De Bussy to South Africa where he and his wife settled in Sunnyside, Pretoria. As his heart was set on becoming a painter, he soon became involved in artistic activities in the city. Wenning joined an art club in 1910 known as ‘The Individualists’, of which a young Pierneef was also a member.Owing to the early patronage and support of the art auctioneer, Ernest Lezard, and DC Boonzaier, Wenning made his first visits to Cape Town in 1915 and 1916. Temperamentally and artistically, he felt far more at home with a dark ‘Dutch’ palette in the rainy, often overcast Cape landscape than painting in the glaring light of the arid north of the country.Like the artists of The Hague School, Wenning sought to portray nature in all its quiet splendour as he ventured into the old districts of the Cape, such as the Malay Quarter and especially the Cape countryside where he painted for days on end. He was often seen painting in the rain in the tree-lined avenues and small holdings in Observatory, near the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, and in Constantia as if driven by his failing health.Wenning’s ‘Cape years’ were his most fruitful and creative, even during the 1918 flu epidemic - with Cape Town at the centre of the scourge - he was known to drive himself to paint outdoors at a preferred setting. In all probability, By Riversideweg, Nuwelandwas executed in a similar manner, namely plein air, but with Wenning’s distinct dark palette, introducing highlights here and there to add mystery to the dramatic ambience of this painting.It is known that Wenning’s friend, DC Boonzaier, often assisted in giving titles to the artist’s paintings but also contradicted himself on a few occasions. The title of this painting is a case in point, varying over many years.A friend of the artist and assistant-editor of Die Burger, Dr. Bodenstein, bought three paintings from Ashbey’s in 1920 for 37 Pounds. Professor Mortimer Malherbe, a friend of Dr. Bodenstein, also bought two paintings at Ashbey’s, including the present lot which Scholtz identified as ‘ ‘n toneel naby die brug in Paradiseweg’ (‘ a scene close to the bridge in Paradise Road’) (1973:85).In a footnote Scholtz (1973:85) mentions that ten years after the death of Wenning the South African National Gallery in Cape Town presented an exhibition in 1931 entitled ‘Loan Exhibition of Works by the Late Peter (sic) Wenning’. Included in this exhibition were the two paintings previously acquired by Professor Malherbe, but presented here with totally different titles. The present lot was newly titled in the exhibition catalogue as Mountain Scene. Scholtz reaffirms once again Boonzaier’s often very confusing, even misleading, re-titling of Wenning’s work and declares that the painting formerly known as Toneel naby Riversideweg, (Scene close to Riverside Road), was a far more acceptable title than Mountain Scene.

Eunice Basson

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Mon, 27th Mar 2017

The Inaugural Cape Auction offed a diverse range of top-quality historic, modern and contemporary works. With a focus on critically engaged art and a curated approach, seasoned and new collectors competed to acquire significant works.

Aspire’s commitment to the growth of the art market saw international records broken in recognition of exiled South African artists. Louis Maqhubela’s Exiled King, a definitive, politically motivated work, sold for R341,040 - three times his previous record, and Albert Adams’ Untitled (Four Figures with Pitchforks), his first appearance at auction, sold for R136,416. Top prices were also achieved for established artists including J.H Pierneef, William Kentridge, and Edoardo Villa, and contemporary artwork fared exceptionally with record prices for David Brown, Steven Cohen, Mohau Modisakeng, Moshekwa Langa, and Mikhael Subotzky.

Viewing

Friday 24 March 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 25 March 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 26 March 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

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