‘Market By Candlelight’

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‘Market By Candlelight’
Signed, inscribed & dated 1844
Oil on panel 18 1/8″ x 13″

Petrus Van Schendel
Belgian 1806-1870

After completing his studies at the Fine Arts Academy of Antwerp in 1828, studying under the historical painter Mathieu van Bree, Petrus van Schendel began to focus on genre painting with candles and lamplight, often in combination with evening market scenes, landscapes and moonlight. Within a very short time, he became the most important exponent of this style in the 19th century romantic period. 

From 1828 to 1832 van Schendel divided his time between Breda and Amsterdam. In 1830 he married Elisabeth Grasveld (1807-1850) with whom he would have thirteen children.

By 1832 he had left for Rotterdam where he completed his first series of market scenes, where the sellers were shown offering local vegetables, poultry, fish and game, illuminated by candle and moonlight.

From van Bree, the young artist had developed a thorough technical knowledge and a fine attention to detail.  He was soon creating more complex perspectives of market scenes always by candle or moonlight, peopled with animated figures, created with great attention to the detail of the fabric and accessories, rendered by layering clear and coloured glazes equally over the painted surfaces .

Petrus van Schendel’s popularity extended beyond the borders of Holland and Belgium, where he won a gold medal at the Brussels exhibition in 1838, and the artist exhibited his works in London at the Royal Academy 1855-1856 and presented ‘A Fish Market’ at the great Art Treasures Exhibition of Manchester 1857.

Market by Candlelight is one of Petrus van Schendel’s finest quality works and an interesting example of the artist’s practice of re-using successful compositions – it relates to a larger work of the same year An Evening Market, which depicts the same pretty young girl, and the table with the candle and vegetables in the left hand section appears in his work A Busy Night Market with a Vegetable Stall.

Market by Candlelight had been in the same family since it was bought from J & R Edmiston’s, Glasgow in 1916 for 40 gns and is accompanied with its’ original invoice.


© Sutcliffe Galleries 2012


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