Story: Waterfalls

‘A waterfall in the Otira Gorge’ (1st of 2)

‘A waterfall in the Otira Gorge’

Petrus van der Velden was a Dutch painter who arrived in Christchurch in 1890, and soon began visiting the Ōtira Gorge. Seeking a sense of God’s powerful presence through nature, he preferred days when the wind howled and the rain poured. This scene (1891) captures the mood, and has become a well-known New Zealand painting. Although it was bought by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for the then considerable sum of £130, van der Velden struggled to make a living in New Zealand and eventually left in 1898.

Using this item

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Oil painting by Petrus van der Velden

Permission of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Waterfalls - Europeans and waterfalls', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 March 2023)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 24 Sep 2007