Petrus van der Velden

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

Road work, Sumner

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Charcoal
  • 264 x 198mm
  • 69/234
  • 1890

Quadrant: Four themes of Petrus van der Velden, 20 October 2006 – 25 March 2007

The quarry horse in this charcoal drawing is shown waiting patiently as the cart is loaded up with the hardfill being used to lay a new road near Sumner. At the back of the cart, two stone breakers toil away, shovelling broken rock onto the cart. The figure to the right echoes some of Van der Velden’s earlier Dutch peasants digging the soil as they harvest beet in Gathering Beet, Village of Rijnsburg. The theme of labourers amidst backbreaking work remains the same in both the artist’s Dutch and New Zealand works.