Luigi Loir French, 1845-1916


Loir was born December 22, 1845 in Goritz, Austria and died February 9, 1916 in Paris. His first formal art education began in 1853 at the Beaux-Art Academy. When he had completed his studies in 1865, Loir submitted his inaugural work entitled Paysage a Villiers-sur Seine to the Salon de Paris for which he received the highest acclaim. Loir then apprenticed himself to study mural painting under Jean Amable Amedee Pastelot (1810-1870), who was his primary teacher. Although Loir became a very popular ceiling and mural painter and was even commissioned to paint the murals and ceilings at the Chateaux du Diable in 1866, he also learned and developed from Pastelot an interest in capturing figural qualities. He fused this talent along with a natural ability to portray landscapes to produce the ordinary activity of Parisians on the street and boulevards of Paris during the last years of the 19th Century.


Many of Loir’s works, which include oils, watercolors, and lithographs, were acquired by the city of Paris and by several French museums. During the Salon des Sciences at the Hotel de Ville, Loir exhibited Les Preparatifs de la Fête Foraine.  The painting was positively received, and Loir finally received the recognition he was due. Such overwhelming acclaim on account of this artistic submission persuaded the Municipal Council of Paris to purchase Le Marche a la Ferraille. The city of Paris would go on to acquire both La Rue de la Pitie and La Vue du Val de Grace. The Empress of Russia also purportedly purchased the watercolor entitled The Celebration of the Throne.

In 1870 Loir entered the military. He was charged with the duty of recording the battles of Bouret. However, Loir concentrated exclusively on painting views of Paris. In these works Loir caught and expressed the many faces of Paris at all hours of the day. Although some criticized Loir for being overly methodical, he was undeniably gifted with the keen abilities of acute observation and adept craftsmanship. On account of his work during the campaign of 1870 Loir was elected to be the official painter of the Boulevards of Paris. This lucrative appointment promoted both his career and reputation. In 1879 Loir was awarded the Bronze medal from the Exposant Fidèle des Artistes Français and was elected into the Legion of Honor in 1898.

Awards and Memberships

Exposant Fidele des Artistes Français, Bronze Medal

Office d'Academie 1889

Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur 1898

Société de Peintres-Lithographes

Société des Aquarellistes

Société des Artist Français

Jury of the Société des Arts Decoratifs 1899


Exposition Universelle, 1900 (gold medal)

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Auxerre Museum, France

Avranches Museum, France

Bordeaux Museum, France

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Crozatier Museum, France

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Galerie Moderne, Vienna

Metropolitan Museum, New York

Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Museum of Prague, Czechoslovakia

Nantes Museum, France

Nice Museum, France

Palais-Royal Paris, France

Petit Palais, Paris

Rouen Museum, France

Saint Louis Museum, U.S.A.

Tretiakoff Museum, Moscow

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