This $1.3 Million Painting Once Helped Save Nelson Mandela's Life

Posted On: 05:33:50 - 25/10/2015 - Viewed: 649
Once auctioned to help defray Nelson Mandela's legal costs, a lost painting by South Africa's leading artist Irma Stern, sold in 9/9/2015 at Bonhams London for £842,500 ($1.3 million).




Once auctioned to help defray Nelson Mandela's legal costs, a lost painting by South Africa's leading artist Irma Stern, sold in 9/9/2015 at Bonhams London for £842,500 ($1.3 million).
 
Arab in Black (1939) took a circuitous journey to the auction house's South African art sale. In 1955, Nelson Mandela was arrested and charged with treason, and could have faced the death penalty if convicted. In the early 1960s, Stern donated Arab in Black to the Treason Trial Defense Fund, set up to cover the legal costs of Mandela and his co-defendants, and to support their families. Mandela was found not guilty in 1961.
 
Arab in Black was purchased by Betty Suzman, an art collector who emigrated from the South Africa to the UK in the 1970s. The painting passed to her son, who hung it in his kitchen. Hannah O'Leary, a Bonhams expert who specializes in South African art, recognized Stern's 1939 painting during an appraisal visit. "I spotted this masterpiece hanging in the kitchen covered in letters, postcards and bills," she told the Mail & Guardian.
 
"This powerful image from Stern's highly regarded Zanzibar period, is one of the artist's finest works," O'Leary said in a press release. "It also has a fascinating past—from an important role in the political history of South Africa to its recent fate as a notice board in a modest London apartment."

 - Source: News.artnet.com









 

Other News

Comments


Write a comment

Your Name:


Your Email:


Your Comment:

Enter the code in the box below: