Soirée de feux de Bengale au Vaux-Hall, Parc de Bruxelles signed 'P.van Schendel' (on the base of the statue) oil on canvas 27 3/16 x 39in (69 x 99cm)
PROVENANCE: The Artist's estate sale, J.& A le Roy & Frères, Brussels, 4 September 1871, lot 11; Sale, Sotheby's Amsterdam 24 April 1989, lot 333; Sale, Sotheby's London, 20 June 1990, lot 104; Sale, De Vuyst, Lokeren, Belgium, 12 December 1998, lot 433, where purchased by the present owner
EXHIBITED: Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 1864, as Soirée de Feux de Bengale au Vaux-Hall, Parc de Bruxelles Brussels, Exposition Générale des Beaux-Arts, 1866 as Feux de Bengale, dans le jardin du Théâtre lyrique, à Bruxelles Portland, Maine, Portland Art Museum, Haffenreffer Gallery, 2012
LITERATURE: Jan de Meere, Petrus van Schendel (1806-1870). Een leven tussen licht en donker, Leiden 2012, p.194, illustrated Registered in the van Schendel archive, number OS/64
Van Schendel made several studies for the present lot, including a larger version which was exhibited in 1869 (present whereabouts unknown). The artist has painted himself into the composition (in the left corner) sharing the crowd's fascination with the sculpture, illuminated by the 'Bengal lights', a form of firework that gave out a slow burning light of various hues. Some of the crowd hold their noses or cover their mouths to shield themselves from the highly noxious effects of the smoke produced by the lights.
We are grateful to Jan de Meere for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.