The refreshment stall signed 'P. van Schendel' (lower right) oil on panel 81 x 102.5 cm. (32 x 40 in.)
Provenance: M. Newman Ltd., London; MacConnal-Mason & Son Ltd., London; Phillips, London, 24 March 1987, lot 17a
An important work in the oeuvre of Petrus van Schendel, 'The refreshment stall' is best known to art historians from the black and white illustration of it published in G.H. Marius key reference book on Dutch Painters of the 19th century. A wonderful example of the artist's obsession with the effects of light, and his keen eye for detail, the painting records several buildings and monuments of Amsterdam which van Schendel has re-arranged to suit his own creative composition. As Dr. Jan de Meere, presently working on a catalogue raisonné on the artist, comments:
'The background is mainly a cappriccio of Amsterdam with the characteristic wooden double drawbridge that could be found over the river Amstel, called the 'Magere Brug' (Thin Bridge), near the 'Scheierstoren' (Widow tower) and in the 'Jodenbreestraat' near the Rembrandthouse.'
Interestingly, Dr. de Meere also notes that the central figure of the composition is an fact a self- portrait of the artist:
'Interesting of 'The refreshment stall' is the almost certain fact that van Schendel painted himself in the center of the painting. The man with the beard and a top hat, looking very distinguished, is the artist himself. There are more examples of paintings where van Schendel painted himself as part of the composition. See for instance the 'Market at Breda by moon- and candlelight', now in the municipal museum of Breda: the same man with the top hat is ordering something at a stall. There is a self portrait by van Schendel, painted in 1869, a year before his death, sold at Phillips in 1998 and now also in the Municipal Museum of Breda, where we look at a very self confident person in a chair, not looking to the public but with a thoughtful far-away look, books he wrote at the table and wearing a golden watch demonstrating the well-to-do artist and scientist he also was.'
Literature: Marius, G.H., Dutch Painters of the 19th Century, edited by Geraldine Norman, Woodbridge, 1973, illustrated p. 32.
We are extremely grateful to Dr. Jan de Meere for his kind assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.