Object: Storm at Wellington Heads
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|Title||Storm at Wellington Heads|
van der Velden, Petrus (artist), circa 1908, Wellington
|Medium summary||oil on canvas|
|Materials||oil paint, canvas|
x 2135mm (Width)
Frame: 1538mm (Height) x 2310mm (Width) x 89mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936|
In this dramatic painting Petrus van der Velden explores the themes of the sublime, a genre of painting which deals with subjects like the insignificance of humanity in the face of nature. Storm at Wellington Heads has all the classic elements of the genre. The foreground figures struggle against the overwhelming storm, and the painting is resolved in a series of oppositions of light and dark in the sea, sky, and rocky coastline.
A Dutch modern
Van der Velden was already an established artist in the Netherlands when he emigrated to New Zealand in 1890. Of van der Velden's work, Vincent van Gogh wrote: 'There is something broad and rough which appeals to me very much - something of the roughness of torchon [a coarse textured paper].' Storm at Wellington Heads illustrates van der Velden's vigorous style which, contrary to appearance, was carefully achieved. The artist would execute many pencil, charcoal, and watercolour studies before undertaking a large oil painting like this one.
New visions of the landscape
Van der Velden is best known for his series of landscapes of the Otira Gorge, Canterbury. Storm at Wellington Heads brings the feeling, power, and meaning of the Otira Gorge images to a different subject. Van der Velden's approach to local landscape was persuasive, and he made a large impact on art in New Zealand, especially in Christchurch, where he set up a studio, and in his teaching laid the foundations of the Canterbury regionalist school of painting.
Find additional information about this object at these sites
- Google Art Project
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 25 million digital objects from over 140 content partners across New Zealand
- RECENT STORMY WEATHER ON THE NEW ZEALAND COAST: THE EFFECTS OF A CYCLONIC STORM AT WELLINGTON HEADS. - Auckland Libraries
- Uplifted storm beaches, Turakirae Head - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- NZBC Classics - Wahine Disaster - NZ On Screen
- CHAPTER XXII - The Story of a New Zealand River - Victoria University of Wellington
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.