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Sketse en tekeninge / Sketches and drawings

JH Pierneef (1886-1957)

Middelfontein, c1919. Potlood/ Pencil (20 x 25 cm). Versameling / Collection: La Motte Museum, Franschhoek

Landskap met huis.

Linosnee / Linocut. 19.5 x 25 cm. La Motte Hoofhuis / Manor House. Versameling / Collection: La Motte Wynlandgoed / Wine Estate. Vertoon op / Featured on: 2011 La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier

As ‘n kunstenaar wat verskeie studies op sy gekose onderwerpe gemaak het, kan die vooraf en beplanning sketse sekere inligting bevat. Die inligting kan spesifiek meer akkurate liggings asook datums verskaf. Al was dit deel van Pierneef se benadering tot ‘n landskapskildery om verskeie sketse in een komposisie te kombineer, kan die studie van die vooraf sketse die kyker instaat stel om sy benadering en gedagtes rondom komposisie te bestudeer.

As voorbeeld, die skets Middelfontein is ‘n presies en op skaal tekening van die linosnee wat onder vertoon word. Die natrekpapier wat gebruik is was tot Pierneef se voordeel omrede dit maklik genoeg is om die skets om te draai en so dadelik die spieelbeeld van die skets wat uit die linoleum gekerf moes word te he om so die positiewe skets weer as resultaat te kan lewer. Die eerste druk van die linosnee wat al opgeteken is dateer 1919 en is benoem Landskap met huis. Die tekening sal waarskynlik vanuit dieselfde tyd dateer of selfs vroeer, eerder as na die druk. Met die linosnee se titel wat geen indikasie gee van waar dit kan wees nie, vul die tekening die gaping deurdat dit getitel is ‘Middelfontein’ links onder.

Die linosnee was onder andere gekies deur die tydskrif Lantern wat litografiese drukke hiervan gemaak het. Die afdrukke is ‘geteken’ met ‘n stempel van Pierneef se handtekening in silwer.

Toe Pierneef oorlede is het sy weduwee May ‘n aantal volumes sketse aan die Transvaal argief geskenk, vandag word die gehuisves in die Pretoriase tak van die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Argief. Mens moet ook in ag neem dat die meeste van die sketse en tekeninge deur kunstenaars weggegooi is.

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As an artist who made various studies on his selected subjects the preliminary and preparatory sketches and drawings could hold key information. This information in fact could give more accurate locations and dates. Even though it is part of Pierneef’s approach to a landscape painting to combine various sketches into one composition, tracing and referring to the pre-drawings and sketches enables the viewer to study his thought of composition.

For instance, the drawing ‘Middelfontein’ is an exact and to scale detailed drawing of the linocut depicted below. The tracing paper used was beneficial as Pierneef could easily have flipped the drawing and instantly have the mirror image that he had to carve from the linoleum to print the positive copy. The first print of the linocut that’s been catalogued dates 1919 entitled ‘Landscape with house.’ The drawing would probably date the same or even earlier rather than after the print, with the linocut’s title giving no indication of where this is, the drawing fills the gap as it’s captioned ‘Middelfontein’ in the bottom left corner.

This linocut was amongst the selected few that the magazine Lantern reprinted as lithographs, these reprints are ‘signed’ with a Pierneef signature stamp in silver.

When Pierneef passed away his widow May donated volumes of sketches to the Transvaal archives, today housed in the Pretoria branch of the National Archives of South Africa. One must keep in mind that the majority of these sketches and drawings are the first to be thrown away by artists.