Anthonie Pieter Schotel is mostly known for his harbour and seascapes. At an early age, it becomes clear that Schotel is very talented. His first painting lessons are given to him by Hermanus Gunneweg. Despite his talent, and per his parent’s explicit request, he takes a position at his father’s company.
But at 25, Schotel, selftaught at the time, turns a new page and decides to become an artist, renting an atelier at a dock in Dordrecht. From his workshop, he oversees the ships sailing in and out. Lateron, he lives in Volendam for a while; at the time this picturesque fisher’s village was a much-loved place to gather for many artists. Schotel was seized by the beauty of the Dutch botters heading out to sea. He frequently paints the ships on the Zuiderzee, in demure variety of greys. Once the Afsluitdijk is built, Schotel looks to the waters of Rotterdam and Zeeland.
Water will always remain his primary source of inspiration, but after 1917, two years after his career change, A.P. Schotel feels confident enough to start experimenting. He studies avant-garde painters such as Dutch Modernist masters like Jan Sluijters, Piet Mondriaan and Leo Gestel and learns how to make use of colour in his works. Gradually, he becomes intrigued with the Dutch Modernists favourite topics: the international nightlife, by courtesy of many travels to glamorous Paris.
In this painting by A.P. Schotel, Woman with cigarette in a bar, a female visitor looks directly at her viewers, with an audacious, confident look. She wears a fur coat and a flamboyant hat. A very elegant figure. Her selfconscious disposition and fancy dress gives her a cosmopolite character. We don’t know who she is, or where A.P. Schotel met her. The painting is dated 1917, Schotel then lives in Dordrecht. This scene might have taken place in Dordrecht, but Rotterdam is a n option as well, as A.P. Schotel frequents Rotterdam to paint the ports, river and the ships.