Petrus van der Velden, Storm at Wellington Heads, about 1908, Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936. Te Papa (1936-0012-115)
When Petrus van der Velden arrived in New Zealand in 1890, he was already a mature artist with an established reputation in Dutch art circles. Vincent van Gogh described him as a ‘solid, serious painter’.
In the Netherlands, Van der Velden had focused on studies of everyday people but New Zealand’s majestic scenery inspired a dramatic change in subject and style. He turned his attention to capturing the rugged landscape in raw, expressive paintings.