Pierneef-wolke / Pierneef clouds

JH Pierneef (1886-1957)

Wolke/ Clouds, 1952. Olieverf op bord/ Oil on board (46 x 62 cm). Versameling / Collection: La Motte Museum, Franschhoek

Landskap met wolke

Linosnee / Linocut. La Motte Hoofhuis / Manor House. Versameling / Collection: La Motte Wynlandgoed / Wine Estate

Huis in aand

Linosnee / Linocut. 10.4 x 12.9 cm. Pierneef a La Motte Restaurant. Versameling / Collection: La Motte Wynlandgoed / Wine Estate


An element of nature that contributes greatly to the atmosphere and how one feels, is the weather, with its play of clouds in the blue sky. One of the themes Pierneef developed, was that of clouds — he used them in various styles and formations to compose his landscapes.

Pierneef’s clouds can be divided into the following categories: skies with subtle line purely for decoration of the picture plane, puffy clouds that are dramatic and featured dominantly through approaching storclouds and arched or gate-way formations with a more spiritual connotation and influence. Prominent examples of the arched and gate-way formations can be seen in various scenes of the Johannesburg Station Panels. The spiritual connotation also links up with the philosophy of Willem van Konijnenburg, supported by Pierneef. The notion that heaven and earth are connected, is explored further in Pierneef’s geometrical phase during the period 1928 to 1935.