Oil on board
3 1/2 x 5 inches (9 x 12.3 cm)
Framed: 5 1/4 x 6 3/4 inches ( 13.3 x 17 cm)
Signed: Luigi Loir, also titled on the reverse
Private Collection, New England
Luigi Loir was born December 22, 1845 in Goritz, Austria and died February 9, 1916 in Paris. His formal art education began in 1853 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. 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, 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 accurate portrayals of 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 Fete 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
Our painting, Simon acquarellant a Gorges by Luigi Loir could be depicting the French artist, Lucian Simon as they were contemporaries and probably both based in Paris at the same time. Here, an artist sits and concentrates own his own painting, while Loir paints him. It is a delightful composition, the atmosphere is calm and quiet, which is often the ideal situation for artists when they work. The color palette and the brushstrokes show Loir’s considerably skills as a painter. Simon acquarellant a Gorges is truly a wonderful example of Loir’s work.