A Flemish painter from Antwerp. Around 1658 he was presumably active in Würzburg and Bamberg. As a painter of still lifes he moved from Danzig (Gdansk) to Lübeck in 1668, then he was to go to the Danish court at Copenhagen at the invitation of the king of Denmark. He had to leave Lübeck because of a conflict with the city authorities and went to Ratzeburg, where he died at the beginning of October 1668. The Pokrajinski muzej in Maribor holds four of his signed works: Vanitas, dated 1662, Fruit, dated 1662, Hunting Still Life, not dated, and Equestrian Parade Equipment, dated: Rats. 1662. Still Life with a Globe, a Skull, a Violin and Hunting Equipment, dated 1665, is in the collection of De danske Kongers kronologiske Samling in Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen. Still life with a Monstrance and Flowers, signed and dated: P.V. KESSEL FI A BAMBERCH 1658 originates from Seehof Castle near Bamberg and is the property of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich. The still life Basket with Grapes – the picture is a fragment, the dating is not legible, but the signature is – is in the collection of the art dealer Peter Lipp in Berlin. Vanitas, signed and dated 1664, 76 x 87 cm, was on sale in New York in 1989 (Sotheby’s, 7 April 1989, No. 39), as was A Huntsman with a French Beagle in a Landscape, 124.5 ×157.5 cm (New York, Christie’s, 16 October 1997, No. 10).
Lit.: Th. Hach, Peter van Kessel, Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, VIII, Berlin & Stuttgart 1885, pp. 330-335; Weilbach, Kunstnerleksikon, Vol. II, 1949, p. 11; Sydney H. Paviere, A Dictionary of Flower, Fruit, and Still Life Painters: 15th - 17th Centuries, I, Amsterdam 1962, p. 38; Natura in posa: La grande stagione della natura morta europea, Editor Ingvar Bergström, Claus Grimm, Marco Rosci, Michel & Fabrice Faré, Juan Antonio Gaya Nuno, Milano 1977; De Maere & Wabbes: Illustrated Dictionary, Vol. I and II, Brussels 1994.