Petrus van der Velden

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

Study for Marken Funeral Barge

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Charcoal
  • 244 x 289mm
  • 79/458.a-x
  • c. 1871-c. 1874
  • View on google maps

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

This small study is a preparatory drawing for the oil painting Marken Funeral Barge and highlights Van der Velden’s skill with charcoal. He would often take tracings of sketches such as this and then scale them up to transfer the image to his larger canvases. Here, he has expertly handled the charcoal medium, using sfumato (applying shading rather than distinctly drawn outlines) to achieve subtle gradations in tone. The figure of the bargeman on the right can just be made out, as can the figures accompanying the dead fisherman in the barge.