Sunday, April 21, 2019

Van Schendel's Moonlight Markets

Petrus Van Schendel was born today, April 21, in 1806. 

To paint his famous candlelit scenes, he divided his Brussels studio into two spaces: an illuminated part where he did his painting and a darker section where he posed his models. 

His outdoor market scenes often set up a contrast between lantern light and moonlight. The candles and lanterns illuminate the fronts of the figures, and each flame is surrounded by a glowing halo of light. The moonlight is relatively cool and the buildings only dimly seen in the shadows.

The challenge with painting the effect of dim light is to suppress detail in the shadows and to make the transitions gradual. We're accustomed to seeing photographic interpretations of night scenes, which typically include far more detail than the human eye can see.
Wikipedia: Petrus Van Schendel


Rich said...

Yes, you are right James; the photographic moonlighted scene interpretation lacks that indescribable painted "hounting" quality depicted here.

Stephen and Nyree said...

Light is truly a powerful subject. It seems one could spend everyday finding new ways to paint and represent light.