- Purchased with assistance from Gabrielle Tasman in memory of Adriaan and the Olive Stirrat bequest. Purchase supported by Christchurch City Council's Challenge Grant to Christchurch Art Gallery Trust, 2010.
- Oil on canvas
- 1079 x 1588mm
- View on google maps
Petrus van der Velden began his career as a commercial lithographer, where attention to detail was a crucial aspect of the job. There, his skills as a draughtsman were honed and he became adept at creating extremely detailed representations of towns and landscapes. In 1867, when he decided to become a painter, he was able to transfer these skills to his canvases as we see in The Leuvehaven, Rotterdam. Van der Velden’s accomplishment in conveying the details of the bustling harbour scene at the Leuvehaven is extraordinary. The rigging, sails and masts of various ships are represented in pinpoint detail, as are the people going about their daily business.
(New Dawn Fades, November 2018)
The square tower in the background has been identified as Sint-Laurenskerk (St. Laurence's Church), the domed building to its right is the Evangelisch-Lutherse kerk (Evangelical Lutheran Church) and the spire with the flag on top is the Brouwerij "De Twee Leeuwen" (the Two Lions brewery).
Of these three buildings, only St Laurence's Church survived the Second World War.
The Gallery thanks the Stadsarchief Rotterdam for supplying this information.