Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef (1886 – 1957), a notable landscape artist in the mediums of painting and printmaking was commissioned in 1929 to paint places of natural beauty and historical value for display at the Johannesburg train station. The 28 landscape paintings and 4 paintings of indigenous trees were presented in 1932, and were displayed for many years thereafter. It includes scenes around South Africa as well as Lesotho and Namibia, many of which were popular holiday destinations, new tourism developments and even the industrial scenes of mining, the life blood of South African industry. The practical purpose of the commissioned work was to entice travelers and advance tourism for the then South African Railways and Harbours within the Union of South Africa. However Pierneef’s idyllic landscape has become iconic in South Africa’s canon of art history, a point of interest and contention in the visual arts rhetoric and a prize to have on display here at the Rupert Museum since 2010. The collection in ownership of the Transnet Foundation has been generously placed on long term loan to the Rupert Museum and was previously displayed from 2004 – 2009 in Graaff Reinet at the Jan Rupert Art Centre.
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