Petrus van Schendel Oil Painting, ca. 1860

Value (2013) | $20,000 Auction$40,000 Auction

I've had it for about 15 years now. It actually belonged to my dearest friend's parents. She lived on the West Coast with the rest of her brothers and sisters, and their mother was dying of cancer, and so I offered to move into the house to care for her. And when they were distributing art amongst the children, this piece was given to me as a gift for what I had done for the family.

Well, obviously, they must have been very appreciative of what you did to give you such a lovely painting.

Yeah, I think so, but it was a privilege to take care of her.

Do you know much about the painting? Do you know the artist? Have you looked into it at all?

I don't know the artist. I've looked up the name on the Internet and was able to see a picture that was in a museum by him, and that was kind of neat. That's all I know.

When you took it out of the wrapping, it's one of these artists you immediately know, and the artist's name is Petrus van Schendel. He was born in the Netherlands, but he lived most of his life in Brussels and in Belgium, and was famous, really, for doing these candlelit scenes, to the extent that the French nicknamed him "Monsieur Chandelle," which I probably pronounced terribly, but "Mr. Candle." I couldn't see a date on it, but he was born in 1806, died about 1870, so this was probably done about the '50s, '60s. He was really working in the Dutch 17th century tradition of similar painters who also did work by candlelight: artists like Gottfried Schalken or Gerrit Dou and perhaps most famously, The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

I used to say to my friend and her mother that I swear that if you blew that candle, it would go out. That's how real it looked to me.

Absolutely, it's very realist, very polished. She's got a lovely expression: you've got the warm glow of the candlelight in her face here. And if we look up to the top left, it's signed by the artist as well. I don't know if you've ever noticed.

I had never noticed that until the lights hit it today.

It clearly has great sentimental and emotional meaning for you, you have great attachment to it, but even so, it's always good to know what you have in the home for insurance purposes or whatever. If this were coming up at auction, I would expect it to have an estimate in the region of $20,000 to $30,000.


For insurance, you could be looking at maybe $40,000 or so. So you need to take very good care of it, as I know you do.

I do.

But I think it says a great deal about what you did that they gave you this painting.

Thank you.

Thank you for bringing it in.


Appraisal Details

Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2013)
$20,000 Auction$40,000 Auction
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)
19th Century

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