Buffalo Bull Pair

Lewis's animal works should not be seen as a departure from the cats that have so largely cemented his reputation. It should be remembered that Lewis's most influential inspiration has been neither the large cats nor animals. What truly drives Lewis is his passion for wilderness. For Lewis, the large animals like the buffalo and the rhino have been ideal means through which to convey the magnitude of earth and the textures of the landscape these weighty beasts inhabit. Buffalo Bull Pair came about because Lewis felt compelled to work on a significantly larger scale than ever before and chose a subject that, because of their bulk, size and characteristically mud-caked appearance, to him epitomised the enormity and essence of the earth itself. Created in an aeroplane hangar on a private game reserve near Kruger National Park, this piece is unusual not only because it is over the double the size of anything previously undertaken, but its surface textures also feature the imprint of indigenous grasses from the area. Interestingly, both Cape Buffalo and lion were once endemic to this area, and when Van der Stel established Stellenbosch, these beasts still roamed freely and abundantly, perhaps even across the very spot where the dominating sculpture stands in front of the Moederkerk.


The Dutch Reformed Church that translates as “the Mother Church” was founded in 1686. After the original church burnt down in 1710, this site was granted to the new building. In 1723 a simple cruciform church was inaugurated here, to which several extensions were added over the years. In 1862 this neo-Gothic steeple building was designed by Carl Otto Hanger, who came from Dresden, Germany. The church has many interesting features including its neo-Gothic
pulpit, its internal “ringwall” that dates back to 1735, and in its gardens are various tombs, vaults and graves of prominent early townsfolk.