Luigi Loir Paintings
Luigi Loir enrolled at the school of fine arts in Parma in 1853. Ten years later he went to Paris and worked in the studio of the painter and set designer Pastelot. During the early part of his career, he produced paintings but continued to execute theatre sets, notably for Devil's Castles (Châteaux du Diable) in 1866. After the 1870 campaign, during which he distinguished himself in the battle of Bourget, Loir devoted himself almost exclusively to painting scenes of Paris. The genre for which he is mainly renowned.
Loir was the Paris painter par excellence, capturing and expressing all aspects of the life of the city at all hours of the day and night. He may be criticised for excessive attention to the process, but his invaluable powers of observation are undeniable. Apart from those of his canvases which are in museum collections, his best-known works include: Preparations for the Fun Fair (acquired for the Salle d'Honneur of the Conseil Municipal in Paris); Scrap Iron Market (bought by the City of Paris); Rue de la Pitié Seen from the Val-de-Grâce (in the Salon des Sciences in the Hôtel de Ville in Paris); and At the Fête du Trône (a watercolour which was acquired by the Empress of Russia). Loir was also a talented lithographer.
He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1865 with a Landscape at Villiers-sur-Seine which brought him a certain amount of recognition. He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon des Artistes Français. Obtaining a third-place medal in 1879, and a second-place medal and a gold medal in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. He was decorated with the Légion d'Honneur in 1898.
Born in Austria to French parents who served the exiled French Bourbon royal family, Luigi Aloys-François-Joseph Loir moved with his family and the Bourbons to the Duchy of Parma in 1847. In 1860 his family returned to Paris following the expulsion of the Bourbons from Parma. But Luigi remained in the city, having enrolled, at the young age of eight, at the Accademia de Belle Arti. He eventually rejoined his family in Paris in 1863. There he studied with the decorative painter and set designer Jean Pastelot, making his Salon debut in 1865. Loir painted mainly views of Paris, in all seasons and at different times of the day or night.
Loir’s paintings proved very popular and commercially successful, and by the end of the 1880's several had been acquired by the State, as well as both French and foreign museums. Loir continued to exhibit at the Salons until 1914. He won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. And was commissioned to design the cover of the official catalogue of the Exposition Universelle of 1900. He also worked as a commercial graphic artist and illustrator, theatrical and poster designer, book illustrator and lithographer.
A member of both the Société des Aquarellistes and the Société de Peintres-Lithographes, as well as a jury member of the Société des Artistes Français and the Société des Arts Décoratifs. Loir rose to a position of some prominence in the Parisian art world. Paintings by Luigi Loir are today in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay, the Hôtel de Ville, the Musée Carnavalet and the Petit Palais in Paris. As well as in the museums of Bar-le-Duc, Bordeaux, Chicago, Le-Puy-en-Velay, Marseille, Moscow, Nancy, Nice, Prague, Rouen, St. Louis and Vienna, among others.
Although perhaps best known as a painter of Parisian scenes, Luigi Loir travelled extensively throughout France. Painting landscapes characterized by an attention to detail and an abiding interest in light. Among the largest known works by Loir, this splendid view of the harbour and town of Roscoff, in the département of Finistère in Brittany. It was painted from the Quai Neuf, one of the three quays which embrace the harbour. In the centre-right background, between the masts of the boats, can be seen the tower of the granite church of Notre Dame de Croaz Batz. Financed and built by the shipowners and traders of Roscoff in the 16th century. As one 19th century English guidebook noted, ‘Roscoff is filled with sailors and smugglers’, and the appearance of the Vieille Porte, built in 1623, remains relatively unchanged today.
Auxerre: Game of Patience
Avranches: Dr Thébault; Abraham Dubois; M. Berryais
Bar-le-Duc: Before the Embarcation
Boulogne-sur-Mer: Memory of Boulogne
Le Puy-en-Velay: The Seine in December 1879
Moscow (State Tretyakov Gal.): Steam from the Circle Line
Nancy: Night Work on a Public Road
Nantes: Skaters' Circle
New York: Festival on the Outer Boulevards at Dusk
Nice: Quai National in Puteaux
Paris (Mus. du Petit Palais): Celebration in Honour of the Russian Sovereigns in Paris in 1886; Scrap Metal Market; Bercy during the Flood; Rue du Val-de-Grâce
Prague (Národní Gal.): Circle Line
Rouen: Rising of the Seine in Paris
St Louis: Austerlitz Bridge
Vienna (Österreichische Gal. Belvedere): Place de la République
Luigi Loir Paintings
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