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Storm at Wellington Heads

Petrus van der Velden (1837-1913), The Netherlands/New Zealand, Storm at Wellington Heads, about 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936

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Nature grand and pure

Painting nature was for Petrus van der Velden almost a form of worship: ‘The aim of our existence is nothing else than to study nature and with so doing to understand how grand and pure [it] is.’

Van der Velden was already an established artist in the Netherlands when he emigrated to New Zealand in 1890. He brought with him a new, darkly romantic approach to landscape painting. This work, showing the full force of nature pitted against tiny humanity, was typical of it.

Highly regarded as a teacher as well as a painter, van der Velden also brought an uncompromising sense of professionalism to the local art scene.

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Pink terraces

Charles Blomfield
Pink Terraces

Storm at Wellington Heads

Carved chair


Attributed to Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti iwi (tribe) Paepae (threshold)


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