Petrus van Schendel (1806-1870)
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Petrus van Schendel was a Netherlandish painter born in Belgium to a Dutch family. Van Schendel has been called “the master of light and atmosphere” by art critics, and his work was classical in nature, yet fresh in technique. He studied at the Antwerp Academy, where he studied under and worked there until 1928. That same year, he moved to Holland where he lived in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague before he finally settled in Brussels in 1845.
Van Schendel was a talented portrait painter, but is notable today for his stunning depictions of night time market scenes. These compositions are beautifully executed and employ candle light and shadow in a way that few other artists so successfully achieved. Van Schendel’s paintings almost seem to glow and come alive. He began these paintings once he settled in Brussels, and won a number of prizes for them, even winning a gold medal for his painting “A Moonlit Market.”
These night time market scenes were painted by torch, candle or moonlight, giving him extraordinary use of shadow. Not only did van Schendel use these techniques outside, but for interior scenes as well. These were usually created with oil on panel, as opposed to canvas.
He exhibited and traveled all over Europe, particularly in Brussels, Paris and at the Royal Academy in London. Today, his work is housed all over Europe, and perhaps in your own home. Still wondering about a Belgian night time scene in your family estate? Contact us…it could be by Petrus van Schendel.