Petrus van der Velden

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

Study for Funeral Series

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Pencil
  • 183 x 271mm
  • 79/12
  • c. 1872

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

Observing the burial of the drowned fisherman at Marken, Van der Velden completed this series of successive pencil sketches, which provide a narrative of the progression of the funeral. Subjects include pallbearers carrying the coffin, mourners grieving at the graveside, and young men filling in the grave. There is a feeling of spontaneity in this group of drawings that suggests Van der Velden completed them rapidly outdoors, directly before the subjects. In one example he has worked over the group of mourners with sepia washes to create tonal gradations. These sketches highlight Van der Velden’s superb ability to observe and record the unfolding scenes before him.