The Beautiful Fish Paintings Of Louis Renard

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Free To Download Fish Paintings and Marine Art

It’s hard to believe that these fish paintings of Louis Renard were first published in 1719. They are from the book “Poissons, écrevisses et crabesque l’on trouve autour des Isles Moluques, et sur les côtes des Terres Australes” by Louis Renard. This was the first known book of colourful fish illustrations.

Translated as “Fish, crayfish, and crabs … found around the Maluk Isles, and on the coasts of the Southern Lands.” The Biological Heritage Library refer to it as “Renard’s Book of Fantastical Fish”

The book supposedly shows marine life from the East Indies in 1719 when Europe knew very little about nature in that region. The marine life and fish paintings in the book have received a certain amount of artistic license. A few are even completely fictitious including a portrait of a mermaid.

Louis Renard’s created these fish paintings without ever visiting the East Indies. He based the paintings on drawings and scientific notes of other artists such as Samuel Fallours a Dutch artist.

Whatever the scientific and historical value of this important work of Louis Renard. The fish paintings are absolutely stunning the colours are so vivid. I’ve actually been snorkeling around some of the few remaining protected coral reefs in the East Indies. I was blown away with the marine life I saw. However, none of it was quite as amazing as these fish paintings, and I certainly didn’t see any mermaids.

Most of these fish paintings are actually from the third book of Louis Renard “Natuurlyke Historie” (1782) published in Holland.

These fish paintings are so beautiful though, I will be downloading a printing a collection off myself to make a lovely gallery wall display in my home.

Fish paintings of Louis Renard

The PDF downloaded fish paintings will be of a higher resolution then the images below.

To download the Fish Paintings just click on the highlighted title link and a PDF of the flower will automatically download to your device.

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The Fantastical Fish Artwork

1. Fish Paintings Plates 193-196

This plate of 3 fish paintings and one crustacean has lovely tones of green and orange. I especially love the patterns on the flatfish painting (194 “Touring reeuw femel“).

2. Crabs and Lobsters Plates 217- 222

This page contains mainly crab and lobster paintings. However, there is one fierce looking spiny fish 219 “goujon de rivière fort excellent.”

3. Fish Paintings 104-108

Apparently, Courkipas is the word for a Malay fan which is a very appropriate description of the fish plate 107.

4. Fish Prints 119-125

This is one of my favourite pages of Louis’s painted fish. The first fish (119) Icon Honimo is just so magnificently colourful and fierce looking. The harlequin pattern on (120) Dam-Bordt is fantastic.

Fantrasical fish paintings of Louis Renard free to download
Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes found in Moluccas (Indonesia) and the East Indies by Louis Renard (1678 -1746) from Histoire naturelle des plus rares curiositez de la mer des Indes (1754).

5. Fish Illustrations 167-172

I actually recognise one of the fish on this plate: 168 Vlagman Lenfeigne looks like a magnificent but exaggerated Angelfish.

Fantastical Fish Paintings of Louis Renard free to download

6. The Schouwerdick and Other Fish

I just the love the name of the first fish on this plate. Even though Schouwerdick, sounds as though it’s out of a porn film!

schouwerdick fish painting and others of Louis Renard free to download

7. Fish Prints 211-218

There is a big variety of fish on this plate from the black Sambia to the angelfish like Pesque Douwing.

Fish paintings 211-218 Siade Louis_Renard

8. Fish Illustrations 201-204

The first fish on this plate (201) is called Bazuin which is the Dutch for trumpet. Which is kind of appropriate as the fishes lips look like they are pursed and ready for blowing a trumpet.

9.”Blue Star” Fish and Others

The “Blauwe Staar” (blue star) fish has the most amazing facial markings. I love it’s rainbow fin too.

If you like these fish paintings you may want to check out some of these hugely popular Natural History Posters of Adolphe Millot .

12 thoughts on “The Beautiful Fish Paintings Of Louis Renard

  1. I so appreciate your site, and all these wonderful, fascinating images you share so openly. It’s so interesting to read the history, and hear your thoughts on these fish images in particular. I just really wanted to say thank you for your site!!! I have noticed you have been featured on this link party as well as others this past week (as well a other times)– it is well deserved!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. There are so many lovely vintage images around that are free to use. I just want to share these beautiful images and give people suggestions of how the can use them in their homes. I’m only just getting started watch this space as I have many more pictorial gems to share.

  2. Beautiful pieces of vintage art Claire.
    Thank you for sharing at our Create, Bake, Grow & Gather party this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your vintage fish printables at tonight’s party.

  3. Such an interesting story about this super cool illustrations from the 1700’s. I would love to have some too. I will be checking them out on Amazon. Happy Weekend, Kippi #kippiathome

    1. Thank you. You can just download the ones on my site and get your local print shop to print them, they are copyright free.

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