Although van Schendel trained in Antwerp as a painter of historical subjects, he became most famous for his so called 'nocturnes' or candlelit and moonlit market scenes. The artist was clearly influenced by the 17th Century northern masters of light, known as the Utrecht Caravaggisti.
The present scene is set in the ‘Groenmarkt’, the vegetables market place at The Hague. To the right is St. Nicolas Chapel, used as a market place for meat, and the Tower of the old Town Hall. Lighting after sunset or in early morning was then provided by oil lamps and candles. This painting is a complex composition with numerous figures and a central stall in the foreground lit by a single candle and by the moon in the cloudy sky. The light clearly defines the delicate features of the various figures and the vibrant colours of the richly filled stall, full of fresh vegetables.
We are grateful to Dr. Jan de Meere for his assistance in authenticating and cataloguing the present lot.