Sun, 28th Oct 2018 8:30

Historic, Modern and Contemporary Art

Lot 13
Lot 13 - William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)


William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)
Tiepolo outside Machadodorp; Tiepolo in Machadodorp

gouache on paper; colour screenprint

Artwork date: 1986
Signature details: signed and dated; signed, dated and numbered 28/31 in pencil

Sold for R569,000
Estimated at R300,000 - R500,000

Condition Report


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.


gouache on paper; colour screenprint

Artwork date: 1986
Signature details: signed and dated; signed, dated and numbered 28/31 in pencil


24 x 24 cm; image size: 36 x 36 cm


Tiepolo outside Machadodorp is a delightful flight of imagination in which William Kentridge brings together the epitome of Venetian Rococo extravagance with what was once
an ancient African settlement of the baKoni peoples and is now somewhat off the beaten track, best known for its trout fishing and tourist attractions. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the great 18th century Venetian painter, was celebrated for the luminosity of his frescoes, which embody the lightness and elegance of Rococo art. The favoured artist of the nobility and the clergy, he transformed splendid palaces and cathedrals from Venice to Würzburg with his extraordinary allegorical paintings, often populated by heroic figures and voluptuous nudes in theatrical poses set against dramatic skies.

Around Machadodorp, now known as eNtokozweni, or Place of Happiness, are the remains of a series of stone terraces generally regarded as walls built by the baKoni to retain sheep and cattle. The structures have not been excavated or properly dated, but could be anywhere between 25 000 and 250 000 years old. The baKoni are considered by local archaeologists as different groups of people, with different origins, who arrived across a period of time. They became collectively known as ‘the people from the North’, or Bokoni.
Here, Kentridge confers the light elegance of a Tiepoloinspired nude couple, entwined in flagrante delicto beneath dramatic skies bulging with puffy pink clouds, onto a seemingly
prosaic Mpumalanga landscape, seeing its potential for exquisite beauty and inviting us to unpack its hidden stories. This rare early gouache is unique in Kentridge’s oeuvre.

Emma Bedford

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Auction: Historic, Modern and Contemporary Art, Sun, 28th Oct 2018

Aspire Art Auctions brought a significant double-header of top lot leads to this sale.

Stellar results were achieved for internationally prominent William Kentridge and Alexis Preller, one of South Africa’s most respected and collectable modern artists. Collectors were attracted to Kentridge’s remarkable, Drawing from Stereoscope (Double page, Soho in two rooms) (1999), which sold for R6 600 400, while Preller’s Adam (1972), sold for a world record at R9 104 000. Modern offerings also included works by Peter Clarke, Kenneth Bakker, and Douglas Portway, while the contemporary segment included Moshekwa Langa, Penny Siopis, Simon Stone, Clive van den Berg, and Georgina Gratrix, amongst others.

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