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Feature Painting:

Petra

by Rosamund Everard Steenkamp

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'Petra', by Rosamund Everard, circa 1937

Oil on canvas, 57 x 72cm

'Petra', was Rosamund's last painting, following a trip to North Africa and the Middle East in 1937.

The range of pink hills in the painting, depicted in the distance, conceal the treasures of Petra, the ancient 'rose-red city' carved directly into the pink sandstone of Jordan.

The city of Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses) lies in the foreground of the painting. Also an ancient city, it is believed Moses led the Israelites through it to the promised land.

 

 

February 1937.....".. the ladies...had to leave their car...at Wadi Moussa and continue on horsback 'to the world famous Petra, that "rose-red city - half as old as time." Miss Pollock recorded that an eager Rosamund had cantered ahead to be the first to see "great projecting rock masses, between gullies, at every turn disclosing some new beauty in the way of ribboned colouring, reds, ochres, purples, sables, beiges, of loveliness indescribable.

'Rosamund was apparently so overwhelmed by the extroardinary world that she forgot about her horse who galloped back home...[Miss Pollock] saw Rosamund "sitting on a little mound lost in admiration of the exquisite gem, El Khazneh, otherwise Pharaoh's Treasury.

 

 

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'It is likely Rosamund made a sketch of the scene of Petra on a card.. and painted the picture at Bonnefoi.

'This last painting by Rosamund is also one of her best, and certainly the most mature, with a greater power and formal control than her earlier work. 'Petra' stands apart in Rosamund's oeuvra, signalling perhaps, a new phase and artistic direction that unfortunately could not come to full flower.'

extract taken from 'The Women of Bonnefoi', pg 182, by Frieda Harmsen

The painting was exhibited at the New Group Exhibition in 1943.

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A recent photograph of the same view painted by Rosamund 70 years ago.

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Rosamund and Miss Pollock in Eqypt on the same trip. Recent photographs of Petra showing the rich colours described.

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El Kazneh, Petra

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Petra

by Rosamund Everard-Steenkamp

 

 

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Nichola Leigh

21 October - 8 November 2008

UCT, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town

 

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The Pale Hillside

by Bertha Everard

 

 

 

 

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