Born in Rotterdam, Pieter van der Velde spent some time in London and eventually settled in Le Havre. In 1877 he married Emma Bayeux, whose father introduced him to the painter Boudin. A successful cotton merchant, Van der Velde began to acquire paintings directly from the artist, eventually amassing a collection of 37 Boudins. Van der Velde also collected works by other Impressionists, most notably Pissarro. Early in the twentieth century van der Velde began to collect more modern artists, including Derain, van Dongen, Picasso and Matisse. Although he sold some works from his collection, most of it remained in tact at his death in 1922. A list of paintings known to have been owned by van der Velde is published in Rodolphe Walker, "Pieter van der Velde, un amateur éclairé," Gazette des Beaux-Arts. October 1968, p. 203-206.
Walter, Rodolphe. "Pieter van der Velde, un amateur éclairé." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 72 (October 1968):203-206