Sun, 1st Sep 2019 9:30

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
Lot 83
 
Lot 83 - Maggie Laubser, By die See (Seascape with Boats and Birds)

83

Maggie Laubser, By die See (Seascape with Boats and Birds)
oil on board|signed bottom left|1932

An annotation on the back of a photograph of this work in the collection of Dr E Miles reads as follows: "At the sea: painted 1932; Maggie Laubser; 9; By die see (olieverf) 1932". ,

Sold for R796,600
Estimated at R700,000 - R1,000,000


Condition Report

The overall condition is good. Minor paint losses along edges from friction between the board and frame along top edge, paint is stable..

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.

 

An annotation on the back of a photograph of this work in the collection of Dr E Miles reads as follows: "At the sea: painted 1932; Maggie Laubser; 9; By die see (olieverf) 1932". ,

(1)

45.5 x 56 cm

Notes:

At the Sea 1932 by Maggie Laubser has an interesting provenance. When research was conducted for the Catalogue Raisonné of Laubser’s oeuvre, initially by Liz Delmont in the 1970s and later by Dalene Marais (finally published in 1994),[i] the owner of At the Sea had not been traced. The only record of this work was a photograph in the collection of Dr Elza Miles. Miles (under her birth name Botha) was awarded her Masters dissertation on the work of Maggie Laubser by the University of Pretoria in 1964. The photograph is annotated on the back: "At the sea: painted 1932; Maggie Laubser; 9; By die see (olieverf) 1932". In December 1931 – March 1932, as part of a growing South African nationalism, the First Annual Exhibition of Contemporary National Art was organized by what was then the South African National Gallery together with the South African Association of Artists. Laubser participated in both this exhibition, (her work was very unfavourably reviewed by the deeply conservative art critic Bernard Lewis), and in all the following annual exhibitions which, from 1933-4 onwards, were titled Annual Exhibition of Contemporary South African Art. At the Sea was exhibited at the Fifth Annual Exhibition of Contemporary South African Art 18 Dec 1935 - end Feb 1936 (catalogue number 42).[ii] Not all critics were as damning of Laubser’s work as Bernard Lewis. The very influential Modernist art historian Prof A.C. Bouman referred to Laubser’s two works on exhibition as “die beste op die hele tentoonstelling” with an illustration of At the Sea.[iii] The painting was also illustrated in in an article by Z.M. Silva entitled “An artist devoted to farm life”.[iv] Interestingly there are three other works (as well as preparatory drawings in one of Laubser’s sketchbooks) which are very similar to this work on auction, although two of them (Marais and Delmont nos 587 and 589) are much smaller and painted on cardboard, probably as studies for the larger works on board: Marais and Delmont no 590 and the work on auction here .[v]

Liz Delmont

Sources:

[i] Marais, D. and Delmont, E. (1994). Maggie Laubser: her paintings, drawings and graphics. Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor Publishers, illustrated on p.195, catalogue number 588. I bid.

[iii] Huisgenoot magazine, 31 January 1936.

[iv] Sunday Express, 8 March 1936.

[v] Marais, D. and Delmont, E. (1994). Maggie Laubser: her paintings, drawings and graphics. Johannesburg and Cape Town: Perskor Publishers.

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