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Petrus van der Velden

Petrus van der Velden (1837–1913) arrived in Christchurch from The Netherlands in 1890. He had been associated with the Hague School of realist painters who concentrated on portraying modern life, particularly the life of the poor and downtrodden. In New Zealand, van der Velden made his most enduring contribution as a landscape painter. He was particularly taken by the sublime and powerful landscape of Ōtira Gorge and produced a number of works with this as his subject.

Van der Velden portrays the landscape as wild and untamed, stormy and brooding. The powerful torrents of water represent a work of God untouched by man. Van der Velden’s images of Ōtira Gorge epitomise the sublime style in painting.

Source: NZ History