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
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.
Amazingly, 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.
Free To Download Antique Fish Paintings and Marine Art
Whatever the scientific and historical value of this important work of Louis Renard, the antique 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 antique 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.
I’ve actually gone one better and have displayed these antique fish paintings of Louis Renard in a unique way, with this IKEA floor lamp hack.
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.
2. Vintage Antique Fish Paintings 9-12
Four wonderful large fish from an Ikan-Poeti to a Paffer.
3. Antique Fish Paintings 13 -22
A collection of 10 of Louis Renard’s smaller fantastical fish from a Bezaan to a Byenaneque.
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.
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.
6. Louis Renard Plates 40-48
From a Ifer Varken to a Byouw. I love the spines on the Louw.
7. Fish paintings 64-67
This is a plate of drawings are full of particularly unusual looking tropical fish especially no 67, Ican Paring.
8. Fish Prints 68-71
This plate of fish illustrations includes a sea horse.
9. Louis Renard Fish Prints 72- 76
Fish number 76 the Befaantie has a very magnificent blue fin.
10. Louis Renard Fish Plates 77-80
From a fantastical diamond shaped “Ekorpante” to “Mourat Lauwf“.
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.
12. Fish Illustration Plates 81-84
From the impressively striped “Ducheff” to the dramatic green diamonds of the “Banda“.
13. Louis Renard Fish Prints 85-88
From the orange Toutetou-Mamel to the black Tourin Sarafte.
14. Fish Painting Plates 89 -93
From the rather plain-looking Sardine de Malacca to a rather colourful and flamboyant Douwing Cammus.
15. Louis Renard Antique Fish Prints 94-97
From a big blue Naouti to a colourful small Corbeille.
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.
17. Antique Fish Illustrations 114-118
From a pink Raven Bek to an orange Mauritius Oud Wyf.
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.
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.
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!
21. Tropical Fish Illustrations 146 – 151
From the colourful Wackum to the blue and yellow Pesque Pampus.
22. Vintage Fish Plates -148-152
Including a Petit Tomtombo and a Douwing Demoifelle.
23. Louis Renard Fish Plates 152- 155
I love the two spotted fish at the top of this plate.
24. Antique fish Louis Renard 160-166
I love the red and white striped Goujon de Mer.
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”.
26. Fish Illustrations 167-172
I actually recognize one of the fish on this plate: 168 Vlagman Lenfeigne looks like a magnificent but exaggerated Angelfish.
27. Fish Paintings 169-171
Three very colourful and fantastical fish of Louis Renard, especially the Kikvorft at the bottom.
28. Louis Renard Illustrations 172-174
This plate includes are rather elaborately patterned crab.
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.
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.
32. Fish Plates 180-184
From a Doujoung Zee Koe to a Bantam fish.
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“).
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.
35. Fish Prints 211-218
There is a big variety of fish on this plate from the black Sambia to the angelfish like Pesque
36. Antique Fish Prints 239-40
The first magnificent fish illustration on this plate is titled “Keyser van Iajan” – the Emperor of Japan.
I have selected some of the most colorful fish paintings here to create a fun rainbow fish display for my home.
If you like these fish paintings you may want to check out some of these hugely popular Natural History Posters of Adolphe
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.
Fantástico e curioso livro de 1719 traz as 1ª ilustrações coloridas do mundo sobre a vida marinha - Follow the Colours
Friday 22nd of January 2021
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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.
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.
Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party (303) - Finding Silver Pennies
Sunday 3rd of March 2019
[…] LOVE these free printable fish paintings that Picture Box Blue shared. […]