Petrus van der Velden

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

Melba

  • Presented by the family of A. F. Nicoll, 1960
  • Pencil on paper
  • 130 x 135mm
  • 99/303
  • c. 1909

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

In 1899 while based in Sydney, Van der Velden’s first wife, Wilhelmina, passed away. He later met Australia Wahlberg, who he married in Wellington in 1904. In 1909 they had a daughter, Melba, who is probably the subject in this drawing. At the age of 72, Van der Velden completed a large body of drawings following the development and progress of Melba through her infancy. His numerous drawings of his daughter at this time are a very personal record, often displaying a tenderness not seen in his other work.