Petrus van der Velden

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

Self Portrait with Otira background

Van der Velden: Otira, 11-22 February 2011

In this charcoal self-portait, completed just three weeks before his death, van der Velden remains emotionally in tune with the region and his earlier experiences as he pays modest homage to his Otira series. The artist portrays himself, paintbrushes in hand, standing in front of his 1912 painting Otira Gorge, proclaiming to the world the importance of his Otira paintings to him as an artist.

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Quadrant: Four themes of Petrus van der Velden, 20 October 2006 – 25 March 2007

    In 1912 Van der Velden revisited the Otira series of the early 1890s, producing several further paintings. This self portrait was drawn just four weeks prior to his death in November 1913. It shows that Van der Velden’s excellent technical ability as a draughtsman remained with him in his final years. Using dramatic contrasts and expressive, gestural marks, he presents himself as the artist, wearing his painting hat, holding brushes and standing before one of his major Otira paintings. He is clearly identifying himself with his Otira series, a major achievement in his painting career.