The Night Café


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 9.3 x 7 in. / 23.5 x 17.8 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed (lower right)
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas laid on board

Catalogue No: 6229 Category:

This painting serves as a window into Loir’s recognisable portfolio of atmospheric city scenes. Modest in scale, it packs in a remarkable amount of observation and energy. This is typical of Loir, who painted Parisian streets devotedly – across varying lights and seasons – evidencing his dedication to technique and aesthetic reflection. The Impressionist-inspired style gives the twinkling café lights dimension, and the characters dynamism. Not only this but it adds to the feeling of nostalgia Loir has created, as if this scene were a memory – made up of shapes and colour and movement rather than fine detail.


Private collection United Kingdom

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Luigi Loir was a French painter and lithographer, born in Austria. His parents were Tancrède Loir François and Thérèse Leban, his wife, respectively valet and housekeeper of the French royal family in exile in Austria. Installed at the Duchy of Palma in 1847, Luigi Loir begun his formal artistic training in 1853 at the Beaux-Arts Academy there, and graduated in 1865.

Loir made his debut in the Salon of Paris with a view of Villiers-sur-Seine that received very high praise. Subsequently, Loir studied under Jean Amable Amédée Pastelot (1810-1870) to become a mural painter. One of Loir’s first commissions was to paint the murals and ceilings at the Chateaux du Diable (The Devil’s House) in 1866.

Beyond the murals, Loir’s works vary from oils paintings to watercolours. At Hôtel de Ville, Loir had exhibited preparatory sketches of La fête foraine. This painting of a fair with a mass of people overwhelmed the museums. Soon the Municipal Council of Paris and the city of Paris would acquire a selection of Loir’s works for which he received high recognition.

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