Yesterday descendents of an old Christchurch identity, John Bradley, presented a charcoal drawing by Petrus van der Velden to Christchurch Art Gallery.
This wonderful, dense charcoal drawing, titled Nor'western Sky, relates directly to a painting of the same scene already in the collection, a painting that was also gifted to the Gallery back in 1938 by the van Asch family which is reproduced below.
John Bradley was a part-time photographer and ran a successful house decoration business from Colombo street in the 1890s from which emerged the well-known Christchurch stained Glass company Bradley Bros around 1909. John accompanied van der Velden on his second, ill-fated trip, to the Otira Gorge in winter 1893. It was on this trip that the Rangiora photographer Alpheus Aldersley, van der Velden's and Bradley's companion, succumbed to the cold and died at the George Dyer Hotel at the bottom of the Gorge.
This drawing has been in the Bradley family since it was acquired by John Bradley from van der Velden in the early 1890s so it is with much appreciation that we accept this extremely generous gift from John Bradley's descendents.