Petrus van der Velden

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

Untitled (Sketch Book 3 - Sumner, Lyttelton & Port Chalmers)

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Pencil
  • 202 x 284mm
  • 79/452.a-pp
  • 1890

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

Sketchbooks provided an excellent means to work outdoors. Van der Velden would use compact and portable sketchbooks such as this to observe and record scenes directly and quickly, and then move on to the next subject on the next page. This sketchbook was used by Van der Velden to record studies in Sumner, Lyttelton and Port Chalmers shortly after his arrival in New Zealand in June 1890. He produced a small body of work based on labourers building a new road in the Sumner area. In this study, drawn in charcoal directly before the subject, he has sketched the labourers hard at work shovelling hardfill onto the waiting carts. Drawing was of primary importance for Van der Velden; his large studio oil paintings often began as small drawings such as this.