Artist discovery: Irma Stern

Dear artists, this entry has some info and a game with a prize to win, so please read on! :) I am in a playful mood today! I hope all is well with you on this beautiful day. Well, sunny and beautiful here in South Africa, spring has arrived.

I have chosen 20th century South African artist Irma Stern (1894 – 1966) for my next entry. She is known in South Africa, but a bit less in the rest of the world, I think. She was born in South Africa, to German-Jewish parents and studied art in Germany.

Upon returning to South Africa, her art was rejected by ctitiques at first. On opening of her first exhibition in 1920, critiques described it as: “Art of Miss Irma Stern - Ugliness as a cult.” Honestly, I personally would be crushed as an artist if that happened to me. Wouldn’t you?

But she persevered and eventually became well established and loved artist. These days her art is well thought of. In March 2011, a Stern painting sold for R34 million (approx 3 million USD!) at Bonham's, London. Here is a lesson to all of us, I think. Don’t give up!

On 11 November 2012, Stern’s painting “Fishing Boats” was stolen from a museum in Pretoria. It was never recovered. Now, that is a steal! :) (Hey, 3 of my paintings were stolen once as well, when I was a beginner artist at 17, but they didn’t worth a cent – I swear!)

I like unconventional color use for skin tones and pensive, emotional expressions on her subject’s faces. Her brush strokes are confident and free, and she was evidently influenced by several well-known masters of 20th century. I wanted to offer a little game and see if you get it right. Look at the below artworks of Irma Stern and answer which artworks were influenced by these masters:


Van Gogh




Can you find influence of any other artists, besides the ones I mentioned? If yes – please let me know, I am dying to find out!

Irma Stern01.jpg
Irma Stern03.jpg
Irma Stern02.jpg
Irma Stern19.jpg
Irma Stern15.jpg
Irma Stern13.jpg
Irma Stern12.jpg
Irma Stern11.jpg
Irma Stern09.jpg
Irma Stern08.jpg
Irma Stern06.jpg
Irma Stern05.jpg

You can select 1 artwork of Irma’s for each master, or you can select 2 artworks if you cannot decide which of the two are the perfect fit. I numbered each artwork of Irma, so your answers will look something like this:

Gauguin 1,6

Van Gogh 7

Matisse 3, 5

Modigliani 9

Picasso 8

Please leave your answers in the comment section, anyone who got it right, will receive a high resolution digital image of my artwork by email (you will choose 1 of the 3 shown below), you can take it to your nearest printer and frame it. :) 

I am ok whether you found 1 or 2 artworks per master, there are not definite answers here, only approximate opinions. But if you got it very close to my opinion, the digital print is yours! There can be several winners in this game. :)

Below are my artworks that I offer as a digital print gift, once I let you know that you did it right – you can let me know which 1 of the below 3 you would like to receive:

Bird. By Annie Hamman

Bird. By Annie Hamman

Courage. By Annie Hamman

Courage. By Annie Hamman

Heavenly. By Annie Hamman.

Heavenly. By Annie Hamman.

Thank you for coming on artist discovery journey with me! :)