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The fish market by Schendel Van Petrus

The fish market by Schendel Van Petrus (Drawing & Painting)

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Following his studies at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts in 1828 (190 years ago), Van Schendel developed his mastery of candlelight paintings, often in combination with moonlight and other artificial light sources. In the collection of the artist’s family is a self portrait of Van Schendel dated 1828 (190 years ago) working under the light of an Angrand oil lamp. The self confident young artist is looking at the viewer and seems to be saying ‘this is what I will do in the very near future’.

From Antwerp, Van Schendel moved to Amsterdam where he met his first wife Elisabeth Grasveld (with whom he had 13 children) and began to produce his first drawings and paintings of market scenes, religious themes, historical subjects and portraits. In the same year as his self portrait, he exhibited his first genre painting by candlelight, entitled A young man reading the news at the Exhibition of Living Masters. In Rotterdam, where he settled in 1832 (186 years ago), he sought new opportunities for portraits as well as his candlelight paintings. The diversity of his subject matter is revealed by the range of paintings he entered at Exhibitions of Living Masters throughout Holland and Belgium in the 1830s, which were almost all lit by candle and/or moonlight. Van Schendel’s reputation grew rapidly and after his move to The Hague in 1838 (180 years ago) his work was known throughout Europe as well as in America.

By the time Van Schendel and his family left Rotterdam to settle in The Hague, he was a prosperous artist and could even afford a house and a large studio in the smart area of the Prinsegracht, where other successful painters lived such as Cornelis Kruseman (1797-1857) and Jean Baptise Van der Hulst (1790-1862), the portrait painter of the court of King Willem I. In the early 1840s, Van Schendel became very successful abroad and many royal European families acquired a market scene by the artist for their illustrious collections. Queen Victoria was one of the first royal collectors, purchasing a market scene as a gift to her husband, Prince Albert after they married in 1840 (178 years ago). Other royal families from the Netherlands, Belgium, Hanover, and Württemberg followed the British Monarch’s example and even the imperial family of Russia quickly followed suit.


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