Petrus van der Velden

Netherlands / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1837, d.1913

The Mouse-trap

  • Purchased 2012
  • Oil on canvas
  • 1050 x 910mm
  • 2012/038
  • 1893

The Dutch painter Petrus van der Velden arrived in Christchurch in 1890 for what was intended to be a short visit to New Zealand. Staying longer than he had planned, he made an impact on the local scene as a ‘real artist’ from old Europe in their midst.

This painting was shown by a Christchurch art dealer in 1893, and described by a reporter:

The picture is entitled ‘The Mouse-trap’, and represents a boy holding the trap with a mouse in it which he has just caught. The face of the boy is beautifully painted, the expression of pleasure being very cleverly caught.

(Beasts, 2015)