La Motte Museum Pierneef

Art, wine – taste and interpret. La Motte pays tribute to Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957), considered an old master by many, in an exhibition where art, wine and history combine to celebrate the life and work of the late, legendary artist. 

The Oeuvre

The year-long exhibition, on display until January 2018, at the La Motte Wine Estate in the Franschhoek Valley, celebrates Pierneef’s contribution to South African art and history, through his intimate portrayal of Southern African landscape and architecture – making a fitting enhancement to La Motte’s core cultural-historical collection.

La Motte Museum Pierneef
JH Pierneef’s most famed painting – Composition in Blue (c1928), oil on canvas, DITSONG collection.

The collection marks the sixtieth commemoration of the famed artist’s death, in conjunction with his daughter Marita’s 90th birthday celebration. Marita is not only an avid collector of her father’s works but a longstanding La Motte family friend.

The artworks have been painstakingly acquired from both private and public collections. Nature and architectural themes dominate Pierneef’s oeuvre, with over one hundred works displayed alongside an impressive assemblage of contextual information and memorabilia, showcasing the artist’s story. Visitors to the museum will experience a unique and engaging display of varying themes, subjects and styles spanning Pierneef’s 55 years of artistry, which led to him being awarded two honorary doctorates, an honorary membership, as well as a Medal of Honour for Painting from the SA Academy of Science & Art.

which led to him being awarded two honorary doctorates, honorary membership of the South African academy of Science and Arts and the Medal of Honour for Painting by the South African Academy. 

La Motte Museum Pierneef
La Motte Wine Bearer Sculpture

The Alliance

La Motte’s alliance with Pierneef dates back to 2002 with the creation of the estate’s premium Pierneef Wine Collection. The wine packaging design was inspired by Pierneef’s linocuts, themselves a gift to La Motte’s owner, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg. La Motte obtained permission for the rights to use Pierneef’s name and prints on the wine labels from his daughter, Marita Bailey.

In 2009 La Motte acquired 42 of the sought-after original works from Marita’s private collection of her father’s artworks from the United Kingdom to South Africa. These included preliminary sketches to accomplished oil paintings, dating back to 1908. Accompanying the works were personal memorabilia from their family home, which featured in the La Motte Museum as part of the ‘La Motte Redefined’, a project that resulted in the internationally-accredited Wine Tourism offering, including the Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant and the La Motte Museum, as it stands today. 

Pierneed a la Motte
Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant

The Milieu

Situated in Franschhoek, La Motte is an enchanting destination, possessing historic charm and beauty and surrounded by extensive vineyards and dramatic backdrops. Apart from its incomparable beauty, La Motte is home to the finest wines, gourmet cuisine and a cultural-historical museum where Pierneef’s exhibition is staged.

The Man Himself

Apart from his legacy and works of art, Pierneef’s wish, years before his death, defined the source of his inspiration, “Bury me under a camel thorn tree, with its straight manly character guarding me, and its roots deep in the soil of Africa”.

He died on 4 October 1957. His distinctive style will always be definitive when evaluating African landscape painting.

La Motte Museum Pierneef

Visit the La Motte Museum

A Tribute to the life and work of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) is currently on display until 3 January 2018. Entrance is free.

The La Motte Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00
For winter hours visit
T +27 (0)21 876 8850