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Publisher: Don Nelson
2. Good. Only few traces of usage.
Cape architecture contains as much 'folk art' as architecture. There were no more than a handful of architects at the Cape when its own unique style of building evolved. From the materials available locally, buildings were created with the assistance of Batavian slaves whose sensitive hands were skilled in plaster work, carpentry and metal crafts.
In this gallery of fifty old Cape buildings, Chris Jansen has not limited his portraits to the beautifully kept national monuments of Cape Dutch architecture, but has wandered through the yards and outbuildings of the farmsteads, capturing the mellow atmosphere of another age and way of life: that harmony with the cycle of seasons which gives the impression that the thick-walled buildings simply grew out of the earth on which they stand.
The country towns and villages — Stellenbosch, Tulbagh, Graaff-Reinet — mirror the same gracious formality in their churches and town houses, and the subtle play of shadows and light on walls whitened by layer upon layer of limew ash is one of their greatest charms.
Chris Jansen's unerring eye has marked out the gleaming beauty of fifty Cape buildings in their tranquil settings to create a portfolio of dignity and mellowness, which will both record and become a part of our Africana heritage.