Mon, 17th Jul 2017 17:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 122
Lot 122 - Maggie Laubser (South Africa 1886-1973)


Maggie Laubser (South Africa 1886-1973)
Landscape with Huts, Tree, Figure, Cow and a Bird

oil on board

Signature details: signed
Literature: Marais, D. and Delmont, E. (1994) Maggie Laubser: her paintings, drawings and graphics. Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor Publishers, illustrated on p.335, catalogue number 1435.

Sold for R1,023,120
Estimated at R1,000,000 - R1,500,000

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

Signature details: signed
Literature: Marais, D. and Delmont, E. (1994) Maggie Laubser: her paintings, drawings and graphics. Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor Publishers, illustrated on p.335, catalogue number 1435.


44.5 x 55 cm

This work was owned by Dr Jan Schutte, the famous radio personality and former Director- General of the SABC. He passed away in 1999. Schutte referred to the painting as Oos- Vrystaatse Landskap.


This is a quintessentially Laubser painting – pastoral subject matter, bright palette, simplified forms, and planar flattened spatial relationships. A label on the back of the frame indicates that the work was almost certainly sold through Emil Schweikerdt, one of Pretoria’s most respected art dealers. Schwiekerdt held several exhibitions of Laubser’s works during the 1940s and 1950s: in 1944; 1948; 1950; 1955 and 1959. It was during these decades that she broke away from the depiction of Cape farm and fishing scenes when she visited the Orange Free State (near Ficksburg) as well as the Transvaal and Natal. Here we see one of her typical Free State rural scenes dating to the mid-1950s.Laubser has used strongly contrasting non-naturalistic colours as seen in the blue path; the three shocking pink mountains in the background; the contrasting purple and yellow grass-covered hillock; and the red-brown patches of veldt interspersed with tufts of greenery. There is a yellow glow behind the mountains on the right, suggesting dawn’s first glimmering, yet light is represented as falling consistently from the left with exaggerated highlights (often represented by bold slabs of colour) in the depiction of the mountains; the two trees in the foreground (both in their foliage and their trunks and branches); the rondavel roofs; the lighter blue of the cow’s rump; and even the eye-catching pink on the shoulder of the walking woman.When Laubser first returned from Europe to South Africa in 1924, she was slated by the more conservative critics and it was only when the Afrikaner Pretoria intelligentsia lauded her work during the 1930s, that her ground-breaking Expressionist style gained favour. By the time this work was painted, Laubser was recognized as an established South African artist in the Modernist tradition. Her work had been included on a number of prestigious exhibitions which travelled internationally and she had several awards to her name.

Liz Delmont


This work was owned by Dr Jan Schutte, the famous radio actor who was also a former Director-General of the SABC. He died in 1999.

Marais, D. and Delmont, E. (1994) Maggie Laubser: her paintings, drawings and graphics. Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor Publishers, catalogue no 1435, page 335.

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Mon, 17th Jul 2017

Aspire Art Auctions’ second Johannesburg sale offered a selection of some of the best works produced by local and international artists available on the local market. Offerings included Cameroonian-born, Belgium-based, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Chilean, Eugenio Dittborn, and South Africans, William Kentridge, Kendell Geers, Louis Maqhubela, Cecil Skotnes, Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, and Mohau Modisakeng, amongst others.

The sale was led by an international auction record of R1 200 320 achieved for a drawing, Children under Apartheid, by exiled South African artist Dumile Feni, as well as the successful sale of top international lot Golden Mask by renowned performance artist Marina Abramović. 


Friday 14 July 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 15 July 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 16 July 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

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