My in-laws were avid collectors of South African artists. My husband use to tease them by saying their house looks like an art gallery. After their passing, our home has become the gallery.
Maggie (Maria Magdalena) Laubser
When my mother-in-law gave me the Maggie Lauscher, I hung it above our dining room table to my husband's distress. He lamented, “Do we have to eat while he's watching us?” The Slamaaiertjie is special to me as I associate Maggie Laubscher with a more naïve sort of subject matter and the image that forms in my mind when I think of her paintings is a farmyard with a child feeding a duck. This Slamaaiertjie in charcoal for me thus represents a deviation from her ‘normal' subjects.
Maggie (Maria Magdalena) Laubser was born on the farm Bloublommetjieskloof in the Malmesbury district, Cape Town. On a visit to relatives in Cape Town, Maggie was introduced to a circle of artists and musicians whom awoken the desire to study singing and, later, painting. At the age of 27 she left for Europe where she lived briefly in the artists' colony in Holland until the outbreak of World War 1when she moved to London. When she permanently returned to South Africa, after various trips to Europe, she lived in seclusion on a family farm at Oortmanspost, near Klipheuwel, Cape Town. In this time she began to develop her distinctive pastoral style.
Maggie signed her work in three ways: Maggie Laubser (early), ML (particularly during 1920s) and M Laubser. The ‘Slamsaaiertjie' had been signed M Laubsser and it is not dated. Her canvases were seldom dated; where dates appear, they have often been added later, with possible errors of memory.
Jan Ernst Abraham Volschenk
Jan Ernst Abraham Volschenk was born on the farm 'Melkhoutskraal'. In the Riversdale district
Volschenk was exceptionally observant and painstaking as a painter and as a naturalist. He had no formal art studies but as young boy his drawings made an impression on visitors. He worked as a bookkeeper; painting in his spare time.
At the age of 51 Volschenk gave up his professional work as an accountant and turned his full attention to painting; concentrating on the surrounding landscape - the aloes and the Langeberg range. He is renowned for his collection of 4 000 different specimens of beetles. At the age of 83 Jan Volschenk suffered a stroke and died.
The Volchenk available is a gravel road taking you on a journey from pine greens for a long way past soft hues of lavender to where your dreams take you.
Willem Hermanus Coetzer
Willem Hermanus Coetzer was born in Cape Town and lived in Johannesburg from the age of 2.
Willem Coetzer's father died when he was very young. and he began to contribute to his family's income by making sketches which his mother coloured.
While being a coach-builder by trade he studied painting by correspondence from London. After eight years of this he went to London to study art but, lacking sufficient money to enter an art school, he trudged around the museums making pencil copies of famous compositions. When he returned to South Africa he painted in his spare time.
- In 1928 he held an exhibition in Johannesburg with other artists where he sold enough work to afford to return to London where he won a prize for his painting 'The Dusty Shelf'.
Despite his English education, he became very conscious of his Afrikaans heritage and resolved to portray the history and spirit of Afrikanerdom in his art. He therefore returned to Europe and spent nine months studying figure-drawing and painting. He began collecting Africana and conducting research into the history and life of the Voortrekker period; and designed the Great Trek Commemorative Postage Stamps. In 1947 he published ‘My Kwas Vertel' – a book of his sketches and designs relating to South African historical subjects. He also designed the marble friezes and tapestries for the National Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria..
The painting for sale is ‘Drakensberg' in soft pastel blues and greens – a very restful representation of one of South Africa's beautiful landscapes.
Contact Helena Pretorius
0424 182 305