Luigi Loir (1845-1916)
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Luigi Loir was born Francois-Joseph Luigi Loir in Austria to a French family working for the aristocracy. He received his first artistic training in 1853 at the Beaux-Art Academy in Parma. Early in his career, Loir became famous for his mural and ceiling paintings. In 1865, he studied mural painting under Pastelot in Paris, and received his first big commission as a mural painter decorating the ceilings of the Chateaux de Diable the following year. Loir would eventually become one of the best Naturalist Parisian cityscape painters of his day.
During this time, Loir had continued to paint, sketch and illustrate on his own. Parisian street scenes, figure studies, and early echoes of the Belle Epoque dotted his compositions. In 1865, Loir also began to regularly show his work at the salons, showing not only his Parisian cityscapes, but those created in other regions of France as well. Loir would show hints of Impressionism in his work, but was never truly associated with this movement.
Loir quickly found success as an artist, and his work was quickly bought up by the French state as well as a number of museums during his lifetime. The government also began to commission him for work, most notably an 1870 work for the military recording the battles in Bouret. That same year, Loir was elected to be the official painter of the boulevards of Paris due to his great depiction and love for the Parisian cityscape.
Besides being a celebrated painter of city scenes, Loir was also a graphic designer for advertisements as well as music and book illustrations. Among his many commercial designs was the cover for the official 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This work helped to earn Loir a place in the world of poster art. While it was typical of most artists of his day to paint primarily in oil, Loir did not limit himself to this medium and painted quite often in gouache and watercolor.
Loir was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1898, and continued to remain active in art right up until his death. Today, Loir’s work is housed all over Europe in France, Austria and Russia. Still wondering about a Parisian cityscape hanging in your home? Contact us. It could be by Luigi Loir.