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Born: 1845-1916; Austria
Born of French parents in Goritz, Austria in December of 1845, Luigi Loir entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Parma, Italy in 1853. Ten years later, he moved to Paris and painted theater scenery in the atelier of renowned designer Pastelot. The year 1865 marked Loir’s own debut at the Salon de Paris in which his work Paysage a Villiers-sur-Seine won instant praise. During this early part of his career, however, the young artist continued to design theater scenery in Paris, notably for the 1866 stage production of Chateau du Diable.
Following the military campaign of 1870 in which Loir distinguished himself by his courage at the battle of Bourget, the artist dedicated himself almost exclusively to painting scenes of Paris, for which he became most well known. Loir was a regular exhibitor at the Societe des Artistes Francais and was awarded its Gold Medal in 1889. In 1898, he received the French Legion of Honor.
Luigi Loir was and still is considered to be the par excellence painter to capture and interpret Paris on canvas at any time of the day, regardless of season or light. Although Loir may be reproached for being rather excessive in his technique, one cannot deny that his skill of observation was nothing short of superior.
Loir was also a talented lithographer and received numerous awards and prizes. The curious collector will consult Benezits’s Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. His works are displayed in museums throughout the world including the Palais de Beaux-Arts in Paris, the Tretiakoff in Moscow, the Rudolph in Prague, and are part of numerous private and public collections such as the City Council of Paris (Les Preparatifs de la fete foraine), the city of Paris (Le Marche a la Ferraille), the Town Hall of Paris (La Rue de la Petie vue du Val de Grace displayed in the Hall of Science) and the Empress of Russia (Un coin de la fete du Trone, watercolor).
Luigi Loir died on February 9, 1916 in Paris.