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Discovering Louis Renard: Beautiful Fish Illustrations Now Free to Print

Inside: Delve into Louis Renard’s vintage fish paintings. We offer these timeless pieces of aquatic art in the Public Domain as free printables.

It’s hard to believe that these beautiful 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 book’s marine life and fish paintings have received a certain amount of artistic license. A few are even entirely fictitious, including a portrait of a mermaid.

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

Free Fish paintings by Louis Renard

Free To Download Antique Fish Paintings and Marine Art

Whatever the scientific and historical value of this vital work of Louis Renard, the antique fish paintings are stunning; the colours are so vivid.

I’ve been snorkelling around some of the few remaining protected coral reefs in the East Indies. I was blown away by the marine life I saw. However, none of it was as impressive as these fish paintings, and I 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 antique fish paintings are so beautiful, though; I will be downloading a printing a collection myself to make a lovely gallery wall display in my home.

I’ve gone one better and have displayed these antique fish paintings of Louis Renard uniquely with this IKEA floor lamp hack and have used them for a fun under-the-sea collage in a porthole.

Fish paintings of Louis Renard

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

To download the antique Fish Paintings, just click on the highlighted title link, and a larger image of the fish will open in a new window in your browser. You can then print this image or save it to your hard drive.

The Louis Renard Fantastical Fish Artwork

1. Antique Fish Drawings 1-8

Eight small exotic fish illustrations with exotic names from a Terkoekoe to a Parringa.

Exotic fish drawings 1-8

2. Vintage Antique Fish Paintings 9-12

Four wonderful large fish from an Ikan-Poeti to a Paffer.

Antique fish drawings 9-12

3. Antique Fish Paintings 13 -22

A collection of 10 of Louis Renard’s smaller fantastical fish from a Bezaan to a Byenaneque.

Fantastical fish 13-22

4. Antique fish paintings 23 – 30

From a Tandock to a Boujaya Couning. Not only are the Louis Renard paintings fantastical but the fish names appear to be also.

Fish prints 23-30

5. Louis Renard Illustrations 31-39

A wonderful collection of antique fantastical fish drawings from a Baard Mannetje to a Coitade. I particularly like the fierce-looking Troutoen with all its spines and sharp teeth.

Free antique fish prints to download

6. Louis Renard Plates 40-48

From a Ifer Varken to a Byouw. I love the spines on the Louw.

Plates 40-48

7. Fish paintings 64-67

This is a plate of drawings are full of particularly unusual looking tropical fish especially no 67, Ican Paring.

Vintage tropical fish

8. Fish Prints 68-71

This plate of fish illustrations includes a sea horse.

Tropical fish illustrations

9. Louis Renard Fish Prints 72- 76

Fish number 76 the Befaantie has a very magnificent blue fin.

Louis Renard fantastical fish

10. Louis Renard Fish Plates 77-80

From a fantastical diamond shaped “Ekorpante” to “Mourat Lauwf“.

Louis Renard antique fish prints 77-80

11.”Blue Star” Fish and Others

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

Blue star tropical fish and more

12. Fish Illustration Plates 81-84

From the impressively striped “Ducheff” to the dramatic green diamonds of the “Banda“.

Antique fish prints 81-84

13. Louis Renard Fish Prints 85-88

From the orange Toutetou-Mamel to the black Tourin Sarafte.

Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes

14. Fish Painting Plates 89 -93

From the rather plain-looking Sardine de Malacca to a rather colourful and flamboyant Douwing Cammus.

Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes found in Moluccas

15. Louis Renard Antique Fish Prints 94-97

From a big blue Naouti to a colourful small Corbeille.

Free fantastical fish prints

16. Fish Paintings 104-108

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

Louis Renard Tropical Fish

17. Antique Fish Illustrations 114-118

From a pink Raven Bek to an orange Mauritius Oud Wyf.

Louis Renard antique fish 114-118

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.

Louis Renards fish paintings

18. Louis Renard fish 129-133

My favourite on this fish plate of Louis Renard is the wonderful arrow shaped fish the Cambwing.

19. Fish Drawings 132-135

I love the giant green Tomtombo and the bright blue Boots Haacks-Vifch on this fantastical fish plate.

Antique fish drawings

20. The Schouwerdick and Other Fish 136-139

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

he Schouwerdick and Other Fish 136-139

21. Tropical Fish Illustrations 146 – 151

From the colourful Wackum to the blue and yellow Pesque Pampus.

Louis Renard Fish

22. Vintage Fish Plates -148-152

Including a Petit Tomtombo and a Douwing Demoifelle.

Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes found in Moluccas

23. Louis Renard Fish Plates 152- 155

I love the two spotted fish at the top of this plate.

Louis Renard Fish Plates

24. Antique fish Louis Renard 160-166

I love the red and white striped Goujon de Mer.

Antique fish Louis Renard 160-166

25. Louis Renard Fish Plates 163-164

The big fish is called “Beer-Vichf de L’ours Honimo” the only word I can translate is “Bear”.

Louis Renard antique fish 163-165

26. Fish Illustrations 167-172

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

Fish painintgs 167-172_Louis_Renard

27. Fish Paintings 169-171

Three very colourful and fantastical fish of Louis Renard, especially the Kikvorft at the bottom.

Antique fantastical fish illustrations

28. Louis Renard Illustrations 172-174

This plate includes are rather elaborately patterned crab.

Louis renard Crab and fishes

29. Louis Renard Fish 173-175

Three very colourful fish, especially the rainbow fish in the middle, WaKum Mare.

30. Fish Paintings 176-179

The top two fish with their bold black stripes, look like they are in old fashioned prison scrubs.

Antique Louis Renard Fish 176-179

31. Antique Fish Illustrations 178-180

These are three unusual looking fish even for Louis Renard. The top two have almost bird-like shaped heads and beaks.

Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes found in Moluccas

32. Fish Plates 180-184

From a Doujoung Zee Koe to a Bantam fish.

vintage fish prints

33. 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“).

Fish 193-196

34. 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 fish’s lips look like they are pursed and ready for blowing a trumpet.

Louis Renard Fish

35. Fish Prints 211-218

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

Colourful and surreal illustrations of fishes found in Moluccas

36. Antique Fish Prints 239-40

The first magnificent fish illustration on this plate is titled “Keyser van Iajan” – the Emperor of Japan.

Louis Renard Fish 238 -239

I have selected some of the most colourful fish paintings to create a fun rainbow fish display for my home.

If you like these fish paintings, you may want to check out some hugely popular Natural History Posters of Adolphe Millot and the vintage nature posters of Oliver Goldsmith.

If it’s antique marine life that you are interested in, check out these Natural Sea Life posters and vintage octopus illustrations, vintage jellyfish prints and conchology prints (seashells).

It’s the amazing colours of these antique fish paintings that appeal to me the most. They are very vivid, just like these antique coral reef prints of William Saville-kent. Or even the nature form prints of Ernst Haeckel.

The complete collection of free educational posters on Pictureboxblue can be seen here.

Louis Renard fish pin

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Teddee Grace

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

I don't receive your posts regularly even though I've signed up. Solution?


Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hi Teddee, sorry I only send an email monthly not weekly. I might consider sending them more regularly. So don't worry I don't think you have missed anything.

Cathy Qori

Thursday 7th of March 2019

Thank you for sharing all these fantastic images and terrific ideas! Your site is amazing.


Thursday 7th of March 2019

Thank you, that’s kind of you to say so.


Sunday 3rd of March 2019

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!


Sunday 3rd of March 2019

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.

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Sunday 3rd of March 2019

[…] LOVE these free printable fish paintings that Picture Box Blue shared. […]