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
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 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.
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
Eight small exotic fish illustrations with exotic names from a Terkoekoe to a Parringa.
Four wonderful large fish from an Ikan-Poeti to a Paffer.
A collection of 10 of Louis Renard’s smaller fantastical fish from a Bezaan to a Byenaneque.
From a Tandock to a Boujaya Couning. Not only are the Louis Renard paintings fantastical but the fish names appear to be also.
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.
From a Ifer Varken to a Byouw. I love the spines on the Louw.
This is a plate of drawings are full of particularly unusual looking tropical fish especially no 67, Ican Paring.
This plate of fish illustrations includes a sea horse.
Fish number 76 the Befaantie has a very magnificent blue fin.
From a fantastical diamond shaped “Ekorpante” to “Mourat Lauwf“.
The “Blauwe Staar” (blue star) fish has the most amazing facial markings. I love it’s rainbow fin too.
From the impressively striped “Ducheff” to the dramatic green diamonds of the “Banda“.
From the orange Toutetou-Mamel to the black Tourin Sarafte.
From the rather plain-looking Sardine de Malacca to a rather colourful and flamboyant Douwing Cammus.
From a big blue Naouti to a colourful small Corbeille.
Apparently, Courkipas is the word for a Malay fan which is a very appropriate description of the fish plate 107.
From a pink Raven Bek to an orange Mauritius Oud Wyf.
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.
My favourite on this fish plate of Louis Renard is the wonderful arrow shaped fish the Cambwing.
I love the giant green Tomtombo and the bright blue Boots Haacks-Vifch on this fantastical fish plate.
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!
From the colourful Wackum to the blue and yellow Pesque Pampus.
Including a Petit Tomtombo and a Douwing Demoifelle.
I love the two spotted fish at the top of this plate.
I love the red and white striped Goujon de Mer.
The big fish is called “Beer-Vichf de L’ours Honimo” the only word I can translate is “Bear”.
I recognize one of the fish on this plate: 168 Vlagman Lenfeigne looks like a magnificent but exaggerated Angelfish.
Three very colourful and fantastical fish of Louis Renard, especially the Kikvorft at the bottom.
This plate includes are rather elaborately patterned crab.
Three very colourful fish, especially the rainbow fish in the middle, WaKum Mare.
The top two fish with their bold black stripes, look like they are in old fashioned prison scrubs.
These are three unusual looking fish even for Louis Renard. The top two have almost bird-like shaped heads and beaks.
From a Doujoung Zee Koe to a Bantam fish.
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“).
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.
There is a big variety of fish on this plate from the black Sambia to the angelfish like Pesque
The first magnificent fish illustration on this plate is titled “Keyser van Iajan” – the Emperor of Japan.
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
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.