Petrus Van Schendel was born in Terheyden, Belgium on April 21, 1806. He was a painter of historical and biblical scenes, portraits and genre scenes, most notably those where he depicted the effects of candle light and moon light. He studied with M. Van Bree at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts from 1822 to 1828.

He lived in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, Holland from 1830 to 1845 where he was highly influenced by the Dutch Masters.

Van Schendel then moved to Brussels and began his career painting portraits for the Belgian society. However, he then began to paint evening market scenes portraying the atmosphere of candlelight and lamps, sometimes in combination with moonlight. Today, these are the paintings that are highly sought after and considered his masterpieces.

He exhibited quite successfully during his lifetime at the important Belgium and Holland venues. Van Schendel was elected a member of The Society of Belgian Artists (1861-1865) and elected a member of The Royal Academy of Amsterdam in 1834. He was also a member of the art group, Arti Sacrum (1834).

Van Schendel died in Brussels on December 28, 1870.

Today, his paintings can be found in private and public collections, worldwide, including The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam as well in museums in Amiens, Brunn, Courtrai, Montreal, Nice, Ypres, Stuttgart, Hanover, Leipzig and Melbourne.

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