The Lizard

Dirk Van Gelder, Artist

This is one of the prints in our collection. It was made in Netherlands in 1946.
Image: H210 x W305mm
woodcut on toned paper
Dirk van Gelder was raised in artistic circles. His father, Hendrik Enno van Gelder, was the director of the Haagse Gemeentemuseum (now the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) from 1912 to 1941. Dirk was only eighteen when he made his first lithographs. Inspired by Theo van Hoytema and other exponents of Dutch art nouveau, he chose the plant and animal kingdom as his subject. During his first stay on Sicily in 1929, he was inspired by memories of Bresdin’s work to produce landscape drawings featuring rocky coasts, mountain ravines and almond and lemon groves. Back in the Netherlands, he used these as the basis for etchings.
Although working in the tradition of the French Romantics, Van Gelder developed a highly distinctive style using nature as his main source of inspiration. Still lifes of fruits, animal skulls or dead birds in a woodland or garden setting are particularly typical of his work, but he also produced views of the wooded countryside of his home province, vistas of rural Zeeland and countless studies of plants, wild flowers and insects. The period was also marked by a permanent and almost complete switch from etching to wood engraving.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1960.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
24 Aug 1960


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