Petrus Van der Velden


Petrus van Der Velden (1837 - 1913) was an important early artist in New Zealand. Of Dutch descent (van der Velden emigrated to NZ in 1890) the artists' paintings of Otira Gorge are significant milestones in the development of NZ painting. Of particular interest to us is that Van der Velden trained as a lithographer and ran a lithographic printing works in Rotterdam for nearly a decade before coming to New Zealand. Presumably his contribution to the history of NZ printmaking would have been as significant as his legacy to painting had he chosen to pursue lithography here. Perhaps in this era printmaking was seen as a craft rather than fine art suitable for an artist to pursue as an art form. There are now three prints for sale of paintings by van der Velden at New Zealand’s fine art specialists since 1966.