south african readers will undoubtedly know the work of pierneef, considered to be one of the ‘old masters’ of south african art. the graphic style of his work & his colour palettes are two reasons why he’s one of my personal favourites.

the rupert museum in stellenbosch is currently hosting an exhibition of his Johannesburg Railway Station panels, which were commissioned by South African Railways in 1929. the thirty-two panels depicting landscapes of different parts of Southern Africa were unveiled in 1932 and displayed in the concourse of the then new Park Station in Johannesburg.

This project created enormous publicity for the artist, as the Railways were responsible for the promotion of tourism both nationally and internationally, and Johannesburg Railway Station became the main point of embarkation for visitors, whether tourists or businessmen, as the age of air transport had yet to arrive.

i would encourage anyone in the area to go check them out. more info here.

i remember seeing a pierneef for sale in a gallery once and it was priced at something like R2 million. his baobab painting sold for over R11 million in 2008.


  1. and all the intellectuals criticise him cos there are no people in the landscapes. so ridiculous!

  2. I love how these are vaguely foreign and familiar at the same time! Such an interesting sensation! Something about the clouds feels like a lost Maxfield Parrish, but the strange beauty of the South African landscape feels utterly alien and dream like! Thank you for putting Pierneef on my radar!

  3. Wow, these are incredible – the colours and linework are what get me the most!
    Always associated Pierneef with boring school art history lessons and old afrikaans tannies, but i guess i was wrong.

  4. Big thank you for the heads up – going to Stb on the weekend and will be sure to go and see …WOW! V x

  5. Thanks so for sharing this artist–I’d never see his work before and I’m so glad that I’ve now had an introduction. They almost remind me of a more graphic version of some of Maxfield Parrish’s landscape scenes. Just beautiful.

  6. @ aimee – that’s so funny, because most people i know from my mom’s generation don’t like pierneef. they think his work a bit too strange. suppose it’s not what you would expect from ‘traditional’ landscape art, which is probably why i like it so much.

  7. Thank you for sharing, I had never seen this artists’ work before. It’s wonderful!

  8. Miss Moss, these images are revelatory. And I work at an art magazine so I’m surrounded by amazing works! I can’t believe I have never heard of this artist. Thank you so much for sharing. Each one is a luminous adventure. Wish I could see them in person!! Thanks again. You already know I love your blog. Really stupendous! xo

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