Scheltema, Jan Hendrik (1861-1941; Dutch/Australian)
Driving in the cows, sunrise
Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 76.4 cm
Purchased, 1895
National Gallery of Victoria (18-2)

This work was one of several contemporary Australian landscapes bought from the Victorian Artists’ Society in 1895-96: see e.g. Mather Autumn in the Fitzroy Gardens 1894 {1895} NGV [PA].

Scheltema arrived in Melbourne in 1888, after working in Holland as a portraitist. He joined the Victorian Artists’ Society, and exhibited alongside Roberts, Streeton, McCubbin and Conder. In Australia he specialised in pastoral  landscapes, often featuring cattle, as in this work. Other examples are held in the National Gallery of Australia, state and regional galleries, and private collections.

For biographical information, the Wikipedia article cited below is a detailed and well-researched source (correcting various errors in Bénézit and other older references). For further information, enabling the author to update the original entry on this work, I am grateful to Peter Reynders (email correspondence, Dec.2023), who emphasises that State Library Victoria holds a collection of some 800 hand-written letters by Scheltema, bequeathed after the death of the painter’s great-nephew, noted zoologist Dr C.A.W.Jeekel (1922-2010).


AR 1895, p.25; NGV 1905, p.103 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.77) [£15/15] 

For the artist, see in particular (accessed 27 Dec.2023), with further references, and the correspondence mentioned above from Peter Reynders. For the Scheltema correspondence in State Library Victoria, refer SLV catalogue (MS 16401). See also; and