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Sun Mar 01 06:25:04 CAT 2015

Irma Stern work sells for record R13.3m

GABISILE NDEBELE | 12 October, 2010 23:04

South African artist Irma Stern's Gladioli painting has broken another auction record after it sold for R13 368 000.

Stern, who was born in 1894 in the old Transvaal, has achieved national and international recognition for her art pieces since her first exhibition in Berlin in 1919.

On Monday night the painting became most expensive painting in South African history.

The auction was conducted by Strauss & Co in Cape Town. It also featured other works which sold for in excess of R1-million each. The sale totalled more than R43-million, taking the auctioneer's total for the year so far to more than R120-million.

Emma Bedford, senior painting specialist at the company, told The Timesthat Stern's work was clearly appreciated by many people worldwide.

"This painting is done by an extraordinary woman who's one of the greatest painters from South Africa.

"She was highly a educated woman who studied in Europe with some of the greatest.

"We can't reveal the identity of the person who bought the painting, but we can say it will remain in South Africa," she said.

This was not the first time Stern's art pieces have sold for record amounts. In March 2007 one of her paintings was sold for R6.6-million and in May 2000 another piece sold at Sotheby's in Johannesburg for R1.7-million.

Both the paintings achieved record prices for art auctioned at the time.

"This is a large piece that possesses such a large impact on the eye. It is extremely beautiful with flowers and various fruit.

"It also suggested that Irma had a love for foods," said Bedford.

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