JACOB HENDRIK PIERNEEF (1886-1957)
'Gereformeerde Kerk, Zuid Africa'
Signed and titled on the reverse
Annotated Gereformeerde Kerk te Pretoria, waar president Krüger ter kerke ging en waarin hij zelf ook in de dienst is voorgegaan (Reformed Church in Pretoria, where president Krüger went to church and where he also performed the religious service himself) on a label on the reverse
Oil on board, 36.5 x 45.5 cm
During the Boer War in 1901, the Pierneef family moved to The Netherlands. There Jacob studied at the Rotterdamse Kunstacademie and came into contact with the works of the Old Masters, which left a lasting impression on him.
In 1904, 18 years old, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef returned to South Africa where he met with and was encouraged by already established South African artists such as his godfather Anton van Wouw, Hugo Naudé and Frans Oerder.
Pierneef was a landscape artist and is generally considered one of the great of the old South African masters. Most of his paintings were of the South African “Bosveld”, which he ordered and structured to almost geometric designs with pure colouring. This resulted in a “perfect”, formalized and often monumental view of the South African landscape, uninhabited and with dramatic light. This painting of the reformed church in Pretoria is an early work by Pierneef, probably done just after his return to South Africa and before he had developed his characteristic style of painting based on a love for order and tranquillity that he found in his treasured Bosveld.