Petrus van der Velden

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

Study of a Man

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Charcoal
  • 250 x 174mm
  • 69/247
  • c. 1901

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

Between January and March of 1901, Van der Velden became seriously ill and was admitted to the Carrington Hospital for Convalescents at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney. He recovered, and room was made at the hospital for him to paint. He made numerous charcoal studies of patients at the hospital – shown sitting round playing cards, reading and smoking. This subject of this work is thought to be one of his fellow patients at the hospital. The man sits back in the chair staring directly at the viewer, relaxing while smoking his pipe. Van der Velden uses charcoal to define the subject’s outline and features, and has then used degrees of shading to highlight aspects in the composition such as the shade cast by the rim of the hat.