Petrus van der Velden

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

Near Sumner

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • charcoal
  • 198 x 278mm
  • 69/246
  • 1890
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Quadrant: Four themes of Petrus van der Velden, 20 October 2006 – 25 March 2007

This charcoal study was completed shortly after Van der Velden arrived in Christchurch in June 1890. Van der Velden and his family initially stayed with Gerrit van Asch in Sumner, where he set about producing studies and paintings of the area. With the construction of a new road nearby, Van der Velden found similar subjects to his rural Dutch labourers. This charcoal sketch shows two quarry workers breaking up rocks, dwarfed by the cliff face above. Van der Velden illustrates the physical hardship of the labourers, as they bend with the swinging action of their pickaxes against the rock face.