Lot 10
  • 10

Petrus van Schendel

150,000 - 250,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Petrus Van Schendel
  • The Market Place, Rotterdam
  • signed and dated P. van Schendel fecit 1844 lower left
  • oil on panel
  • 111 by 141.5cm., 43¾ by 55¾in.


Acquired by the family of the present owner at the Ghent exhibition in 1844; thence by descent


Ghent, Exhibition of Living Masters, 1844, no. 82 (as Grand marché d'une ville; effet de lune et de lumière)
Breda, Breda's Museum; Luxembourg, Villa Vauban, Petrus van Schendel: Master of the Twilight / Die Farben der Nacht. Der Maler Petrus van Schendel, 2012-13, illustrated in the catalogues


Jan de Meere, Petrus van Schendel: Een leven tussen licht en donker, 2012, p. 106, fig. 206, illustrated


The following condition report has been provided by Hamish Dewar Ltd, 13 & 14 Mason's Yard, London SW1Y 6BU:UNCONDITIONAL AND WITHOUT PREJUDICEStructural ConditionThe artist's panel which has two secondary vertical batons screwed to the reverse is providing an even and stable structural support.Paint SurfaceThe paint surface has a relatively even varnish layer.There a few very minor scattered accretions and handling marks.Inspection under ultra-violet light shows a discoloured and opaque varnish layer.Inspection under ultra-violet light also shows intermittent retouchings running along the upper edge, a few small retouchings on the left and right vertical framing edges, a small of retouching on the top of the buildings in the upper left corner of the composition, and a few small spots of fluorescence which appear to be retouching within the buildings above the figures in the lower right.SummaryThe painting would therefore appear to be in very good and stable condition and could possibly benefit from revarnishing.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Unseen on the market since its acquisition by the family of the present owner over 170 years ago, The Night Market, Rotterdam ranks among Petrus van Schendel's finest compositions ever to appear at auction. Probably the largest market scene painted on panel in the artist's œuvre, the work represents the fullest multi-figural composition the artist had executed to date. The arrangement of figural groupings is particularly successful and harmonious, with four light sources and two main groups of commercial activity in the foreground: to the left a woman chooses vegetables, while to the right children look on expectantly as sweetmeats are offered for sale. Between them the eye is led into the depth of the scene, each gathering beautifully illuminated by the artist's customary chiaroscuro technique which earned Schendel the nickname Monsieur chandelle. Above the bustling scene rise the buildings of the former cheese market of Rotterdam, the town where Schendel had lived from 1832-38. The classical portico of the former stadthuis can be seen to the right, the graceful female sculptures each backlit by the moonlight which in turn glints from the upper windows of the buildings to the left, bringing a sense of grandeur and unity to the scene. 

Inspired by Dutch genre-painters of the Golden Age, notably Godfried Schalcken (1643-1706), Gerrit Dou (1613-1675), and the Utrecht Caravaggisti, Petrus van Schendel grew up in Breda and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In 1844, the year the present work was painted, Schendel was at the height of his artistic powers and had an international reputation. The following year Schendel relocated to Brussels and was awarded a gold medal at the exhibition there, and Queen Victoria acquired a Schendel through the dealer C.J . Nieuwenhuijs as a birthday present for Prince Albert, a work which remains in the British Royal Collection.