R6,1?mln for Stern’s oil

2015-03-21 00:00

AN Irma Stern painting, Fisherman, Madeira, has sold for £338 500, (R6,1 million) at an auction of South African art in London.

The painting was created during a particularly difficult period in the artist’s life in 1931, and is regarded by the former director of Pretoria Art Museum, A.J. Werth, as one of Stern’s “finest oils”.

Stern’s visit to Madeira coincided with the collapse of her marriage to Johannes Prinz. Shortly after arriving on the island, she suffered a nervous breakdown. Many of Stern’s Madeiran paintings reflect her anguished mental state.

Boasting the highest price achieved for South African art this year, it was sold by world record holders for South African art Bonhams, the international fine art auction house headquartered in New Bond Street.

Also on sale at the auction, which raised R25 million, was a work by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, titled The bush camp of Anton van Wouw, Rooiplaat, which made £146 500, (R2,7 million). — Arts Editor.

• arts@witness.co.za

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