Friday, September 28, 2012

The Van der Velden Art Exhibition

 Van der Velden Art Exhibition
Christchurch 1914.

Mr J. Van der Velden (sic), son of the late Mr Petreus Van der Velden (sic), is co-operating with the Art Society to collect and display in the Art Gallery a number of the works of the deceased artist. The exhibition will probably be ready next month, and the public will be admitted free.
Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 14850, 16 December 1913, Page 6

The memorial exhibition of paintings by the late Mr Petrus van der Velden, which is being arranged by his son, will be held in the Christchurch Art Gallery next month. A number of canvases are being brought from Sydney, and the exhibition will be a very fine representation of some of the best work of the dead artist.

Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 14861, 30 December 1913, Page 6

The forthcoming exhibition of pictures and sketches by the late Mr Petrus van der Velden, which is to be held in the Art Gallery this month, promises to be of exceptional merit, and is being looked forward to with keen anticipation by local art enthusiasts. Mr G. Van der Velden, who is busily engaged in preparing for the exhibition of his father's work, has already a considerable number of canvases, many unfinished, and several hundreds of sketches unpacked at the Art Gallery, but it will be some days before these are sorted out and arranged for exhibition. They include many splendid examples of the dead artist's work. Several cases of paintings and sketches have been sent from Sydney by Mr W. Van der Velden, another son, and these are expected to arrive in Christchurch this week.

Press, Volume L, Issue 14867, 6 January 1914, Page 6

The exhibition of paintings and sketches by the late Mr P. van der Velden, in which considerable local interest is being shown, will be opened in the Art Gallery, probably to-morrow week. Mr G. van der Velden, who is supervising the exhibition of his late father's work, has already arranged a large collection of paintings and sketches. Several cases of pictures from Wellington will arrive this morning, and a larger number are coming from Sydney, in the Willochra, which is due at Lyttelton on Friday.
Press, Volume L, Issue 14879, 20 January 1914, Page 6

The free exhibition of the works of the late Mr P. Van der Velden, at the Art Gallery, has been postponed, owing to the short shipment of three cases from Sydney. It is probable that the exhibition will be opened on the first Wednesday or Thursday of next month.

Press, Volume L, Issue 14885, 27 January 1914, Page 6

Famous Dutch Artist
The late P. Van der Velden
Collection of Works

A comprehensive collection of the works of the late P. Van der Velden, the famous Dutch artist, for many years a resident of New Zealand, is now being arranged at the Art Gallery for exhibition to the public next week.

The collection is a really notable one. It covers every variety of work of a most versatile artist, and, what is of quite as much interest, it embraces specimens of his work from the beginning of his career right down almost to the time of his death. There are some magnificent finished pictures, also an immense collection of unfinished works and sketches and studies which the late Mr Van der Velden prepared for use in the different pictures he had then in contemplation.

The chief characteristic of the collection is its bewildering variety. Practically all types of composition are dealt with, and each in a most masterly way. In this respect the late Mr Van der Velden stands almost alone among great artists. Close attention to detail is also a prominent feature of the pictures shown. The late artist was a firm believer in accuracy of detail, and some of his early sketches are object lessons to all art students in this respect.

Among the larger works in oils, a painting of Wellington Heads in a storm stands out prominently. This is a most impressive study, the whirl of the sea and the rush of the clouds being most realistic. Another picture, painted at Bondi, Sydney, is also a splendid example of seascape work. A remarkable picture is that of a Dutch funeral passing along a canal. This possesses a beautiful light and atmosphere, and is a most characteristic study altogether.

The artist's genius in composition work is shown in one of the gems of the collection, a big painting entitled "The Conqueror." This depicts a party round a table playing cards. A character study of an old man with a pipe is a beautiful piece of work, and a sketch painted in Holland is remarkable for its rare lighting effects.

A large painting of a mass of rock on the old Lyttelton road- is a triumph of skill in detail work, every feature of the big bluff being faithfully depicted. Another picture, "Rocks at Bondi," is a further example of the artist's mastery of detail. A pastoral picture, containing one or two figures, possesses a particular interest. It was painted shortly before the artist's death, and it reveals clearly his deep insight into the beauties of Nature. By way of contrast may be mentioned another study, that of a child of the wilds gazing for the first time over a big city. A picture of a fisherman sitting by the open fireside of his cottage could almost be taken for a Rembrandt, so perfect is it in all its essentials and details. The atmosphere of the whole study is marvellous.

An unfinished picture of the Otira Gorge presents a notable example of New Zealand scenery in its wilder aspects. "Worn Out With Age" is a splendid figure and expression study. It depicts an old woman, and there is no mistaking the motif of the painting. One of the late Mr Van der Velden's best works is "Disillusioned," which was acquired by the National Art Gallery, Sydney. The picture itself, of course, is still in Sydney, but there is to be seen in the collection here the original study of the head of the woman who is the central figure in the painting. As mentioned before, it was the late artist's practice to draw preliminary studies before incorporating them in a finished work.

 a sketch of the painting "Disillusioned" by Petrus van der Velden
 Australian Town and Country Journal
Saturday 17 September 1898 page 21

Among the collection are to be seen many very fine seascapes. One in particular, "Circular Quay, Sydney," is a magnificent picture. It reveals also Mr Van der Velden's perfect mastery of all details connected with ships and shipping. How this mastery of detail was acquired may be seen by an examination of a set of early sketches and studios of ships and boats and various parts thereof, complete and accurate down to the last block or bolt. These studies demonstrate one of Mr Van der Velden's principal axioms as an artist, that to be able to compose, it is essential that one is able to draw correctly and to understand detail. Several pictures of old-fashioned canal boats claim instant attention. These boats have now passed away in favour of the more modern power barges; the pictures consequently possess an additional interest on that account.

The fisher-folk of Marken, an island in the Zuyder Zee, gave to the late Mr Van der Velden the subject matter for many a fine painting. In fact, of all the Dutch artists, Mr Van der Velden was the only one to make a particular study of these people. Several examples of this branch of his work are in the collection. One is of a church wedding, another of a girl standing in a doorway, another of a girl and a young man, also standing in a doorway. They are all splendid studies of the Marken people. In the wedding picture, a ship is painted in the interior of the church. This was taken from a model of the ship De Ruyter sailed in.

A painting of an old Dutch windmill is remarkable for its beautiful moonlight effect; another study shows a most impressive sunset. Magnificent lighting effect characterise many of the other pictures.

Early studies of Dutch scenes form an important section of the collection. These show again the artist's profound attention to detail. One in particular that of a canal bank showing a mass of grass and very fine water reflections, is full of detail. A modest picture of a stone bench is interesting from the fact that it was the artist's first attempt in oils. It was painted in the early fifties, and Mr Van der Velden was then a lithographer's apprentice. His serious career as an artist had not then commenced. Two pictures hung side by side show a remarkable contrast. One is a study of the Australian bush in daylight, the other is a Dutch sunset. They alone indicate the versatility of the artist's genius. There are hundreds of pictures comprised in the collection, including very many black and white sketches. They will be on view to the public free of charge for a limited time, probably about a fortnight. Afterwards it is intended to send the collection to Europe for disposal there. An opportunity will, however, be afforded local art patrons and students to acquire some of the pictures.

Press, Volume L, Issue 14894, 6 February 1914, Page 4

Thursday, February 12th: Their Excellencies will open the Van der Velden Art Exhibition at 

Christchurch in the afternoon ...
Press, Volume L, Issue 14895, 7 February 1914, Page 11

 Press, Volume L, Issue 14899, 12 February 1914, Page 1

Van der Velden Pictures
A Notable Exhibition
Opening by Governor

There was a large gathering of prominent people of Christchurch at the Art Gallery yesterday afternoon, when the exhibition of pictures of the late Mr Van der Velden was opened by his Excellency the Governor.

The collection is a really notable one. There are over 410 pictures altogether, and these include finished paintings, sketches, and studies. A wide variety of subjects is treated and the remarkable versatility of the artist is well shown in the collection of pictures on exhibition. Some of the studies are particularly interesting, in that they show the development leading to the composition of a big picture. A good case in point is that of the artist's famous painting of a Marken funeral. No fewer than 12 preliminary studies are shown, the last being a pencil drawing of the complete composition.

The exhibition will be open to the public to-day, and will remain open for about a fortnight.

His Excellency and the Countess of Liverpool were, on arrival at the Art Gallery, received by the president, the Hon. E. C. J. Stevens.

Mr Stevens, in a short introductory speech, welcomed their Excellencies, and asked the Earl of Liverpool to open the exhibition.

"As patron of the Canterbury Society of Arts," said his Excellency, "I have great pleasure in coming and opening this exhibition, and I hope that the view which the organisers have in instituting this exhibition will be carried out in its entirety. I have great pleasure in declaring the exhibition open."

Accompanied by the Hon. E. C. J. Stevens and Mr Charles Parker, secretary of the Society, their Excellencies then viewed the collection of pictures.

Press, Volume L, Issue 14900, 13 February 1914, Page 2

The exhibition of the works of the late Petrus Van der Velden at the Art Gallery has been very well attended since the opening, and yesterday there was another large attendance recorded, and a number of sales were made. The exhibition will be open to-day. It may be stated, as there appears to be a misapprehension on the point, that the exhibition is free to the public. The pictures, may be viewed from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Press, Volume L, Issue 14903, 17 February 1914, Page 6

Press, Volume L, Issue 14903, 17 February 1914, Page 1

Van der Velden Studies. Mr G. Van der Velden wrote asking if the Board would purchase a set of early studies of his father, the late Mr P. Van der Velden, to be used in the School of Art. He also asked if the Board would purchase his father's easel, the same to he used as a means of encouraging students in the life class, the premier student of the year to have the honour of using the easel. The director of the School of Art stated that the first offer might be considered. A set of twelve drawings and colour studies could be obtained for £25. Such a set would be useful as examples for the students. The second suggestion did not appeal to him. The matter was referred to the School of Art Sub-committee
Press, Volume L, Issue 14909, 24 February 1914, Page 3 

Owing to the Art Society having to prepare for the forthcoming exhibition, the Van der Velden exhibition will be brought to a conclusion on Saturday night [28 February 1914].
Press, Volume L, Issue 14909, 24 February 1914, Page 6

Press, Volume L, Issue 14901, 25 February 1914, Page 1

The Van der Velden exhibition at the Art Gallery, has been a very successful one, large numbers attending daily to view the splendid collection of paintings and sketches. Several good sales of pictures have been made, at prices, in one or two cases, running into three figures. The exhibition will close on Saturday, to allow of preparations being made for the forthcoming annual exhibition of the Canterbury Society of Arts, which promises to be an exceptionally fine show...
Press, Volume L, Issue 14901, 25 February 1914, Page 8

The exhibition of paintings and sketches by the late P. Van der Velden continues to attract large crowds of visitors, and judging by the interest maintained during the period in which it has been opened, the public have shown an increasing love, for art. Possibly this may be attributed to the permanent collection of the Art Society being on view daily from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. free of charge...

Press, Volume L, Issue 14903, 27 February 1914, Page 6

Press, Volume L, Issue 14904, 28 February 1914, Page 1

World War I started on 28 July 1914.

An impression is prevalent that the very fine collection of finished paintings, studies, and sketches left by the late Petrus van der Velden has been shipped to Europe. This is not the case, however, and towards the end of the present week lovers of art, and those especially to whom van der Velden's art appeals, will have an opportunity of inspecting the collection, which will be on exhibition on the top floor of 127- 129 Worcester street. It was originally intended to store the collection during the period of the war, but the interest shown in the works of this master has resulted in a reversal of the decision. Included in the collection are many finished pictures of New Zealand scenery, and also a large canvas of Otira Gorge, on which the artist was engaged just before his death.
Press, Volume LIII, Issue 16027, 9 October 1917, Page 6

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