Sun, 12th Nov 2017 17:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 35
Lot 35 - Peter Clarke (South Africa 1929-2014)


Peter Clarke (South Africa 1929-2014)

gouache on paper

Artwork date: 1958
Signature details: dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse

Sold for R932,176
Estimated at R400,000 - R600,000

Condition Report

Minor creasing in areas, minor abrasions along edges, otherwise good. Examined out of the frame, adhered to mount board with archival tape along top margin.

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

Artwork date: 1958
Signature details: dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse


38 x 45.5 cm


In 1956 Peter Clarke decided to quit his work at Simon’s Town docks to concentrate on the art he had been making in his spare time ever since he left school. He travelled to the village of Tesselaarsdal near Caledon, where he had previously spent holidays, in a move reminiscent of the French artists he admired, escaping the city to find more picturesque scenes.Clarke filled many sketch books on long summer trips there, with a particularly productive stay in 1958 yielding three. The sketches range widely, depicting landscapes and cottages, plants and people, fowls and domestic animals, including studies of pigs like those pictured in this 1958 painting simply called Tesselaarsdal. He particularly used his drawings to practise with perspective, developed in the varied views of pigs in this work, a number foreshortened, and some piglets amusingly seen from the rear with their little tails facing the viewer.Tesselaarsdal depicts the mundane chore of a woman feeding the pigs, and it seems an idyllic and gentle way of life, away from the hubbub of urban living. Despite storm clouds, the sun is shining, and the grass is green. Clarke’s fine colour sense is seen in the way the cool tones of the pigs and the sturdy woman’s apron, ranging from white through pale blue-grey to deeper charcoal, are echoed in the clouded sky, and the contrasting warm hues of the sienna of one piglet and the woman’s face and skirt, the ochre of her top and the farmhouse walls, and the vivid red of its roof and the flowering coral tree against the cerulean blue of the distant sky.Although he was well aware of the hardship of the little community of Tesselaarsdal, in the firm outlines and bold shapes that characterise his style, Clarke captured the enduring values of rural life.

Elizabeth Rankin

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 12th Nov 2017

Aspire’s final auction for 2017 ended the year on a high note with a collection of top historical, modern and contemporary artworks.

A number of superb historic paintings came to auction, dating back to the late nineteenth century. Among them were works by Hugo Naudé, Anton Van Wouw, and Dorothy Kay. A fine collection of mid-twentieth century modern work by South Africa’s best-known artists at auction including Edoardo Villa, Maggie Laubser, Sydney Kumalo and Irma Stern were also on offer. The top lot by value was, however, a contemporary work. A superb drawing by world-renowned South African artist William Kentridge. Drawing from Mine (Soho with coffee plunger and cup) (1991), sold for R5 456 640, a record for a drawing by Kentridge in South Africa.


Thursday 9 November 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Friday 10 November 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 11 November 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 12 November 2017 | 10 am – 3 pm

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