oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Three iconologies of the boer dwelling

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



In this essay the graphic representations of the boer dwelling by three artists, namely Rembrandt van Rijn of the middle seventeenth century, Francois Ie Vaillant of the late eighteenth century and 'Henk' Piemeef of the early twentieth century. are examined in terms of the iconological significance of the use of the boer dwelling as subject for depiction. Rembrandt's, although part of a Dutch landscape tradition, is shown to be the vehicle for reflecting his inner psyche; Le Vaillant's, although artistically poor, prove useful for an objective understanding of Cape vernacular architecture because of his taxonomic concerns while Pierneefs choice of the Boer dwelling contributes to an iconology of landscape as part of an emergent Afrikaner nationalism at a time when there was an active search for an independant cultural identity. Current readings of the landscape tradition of the Afrikaner are cited and contrasted.

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