Artist Bio

Back to Artist Listings

Renault, Luigi

Along with Tomaso de Simone, Luigi Renault is considered Italy's most important marine artist working in oils. He was active in the second half of the 19th century in Trieste, near the Slovenian border and the Northern Tuscan town of Livorno (often referred to as "Leghorn"). Renault's birth and death dates are unknown and the dates of his career vary. His father, Michele Renault (active 1840-1868), was also a ship portrait artist in Livorno. It has been estimated that Luigi Renault produced between seven- and nine-hundred watercolor and gouache paintings and approximately two hundred oil paintings. He was appointed marine painter to King Victor Emanuel and was popular with foreign ship captains, particularly the English and Americans, who commissioned him to paint portraits of their vessels in Leghorn Harbor. His paintings are rendered in a bright, colorful palette and often include small vignettes of the coastline and topographical views. Though his interpretations of vessels are technically accurate, Renault painted in the ropes and shps' rigging over the varnish, making the later cleaning of his work a challenge. His works are in collections throughout Europe, including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England; the Poole Maritime Museum, and Ferns Art Gallery, Hull, all in England; the Altonaer Museum in Hamburg, Germany; the Museo Civico Navale, Genoa-Pegli, Italy; Bergen Sjofarts Museum, Bergen, Norway; Maritiem Museum Prins Hendrik, Rotterdam, Holland; and in the United States at the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia; the Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport and the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, both in Maine; and at the Historical Society of Delaware in Wilmington. No items found.