Louis Le Nain – Artwork & Bio of the French Painter


Louis Le Nain was one of three French brothers whose paintings dominated the 17th-century art scene. Louis was born in 1603 in Laon, Picardy. All three brothers learned to paint from a painter in their hometown. Louis and his brothers left for Paris in the late 1620s, settled in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and worked in the oldest brother’s studio.

Antoine, born in 1600, had been earlier accepted in the painters guild of Saint-Germain-des-Prés as a master painter. Shortly after their settlement, Louis and his brothers – Antoine and Mathieu – started receiving commissions, which included a portrait of the Paris aldermen, the queen of Austria, Cardinal Mazarin, and church commissions.

Louis and his brothers worked in a similar style and often signed their paintings with only their last name – Nain – making it difficult to distinguish whose work was which. However, Louis Le Nain is credited with the most renowned of the brothers’ works – a series of scenes depicting peasant life.

What was Louis Le Nain Known For?

Louis Le Nain was known for painting scenes of peasant life in France. Despite his accurate depictions of the environment and living conditions, the subjects of Louis’ scenes often appear to be bourgeois rather than rural – a feature that seemed to stem from the artist’s sympathetic side. Louis, and his brothers, used a color scheme reminiscent of the Spanish school.

Who was Louis Le Nain Influenced By?

Louis Le Nain was influenced by Dutch painter Pieter Bodding van Laer. Van Laer was famous for painting genre scenes, and exposure to his works influenced Louis’ style and subject matter. Other influences on Le Nain’s works are Jacques Blanchard, Orazio Gentileschi, and Philippe de Champaigne.

What Art Movement was Louis Le Nain Associated With?

Louis Le Nain was associated with the Realism art movement.

Louis Le Nain Artwork

Below are some of the artworks of Louis Le Nain

Adoration of the Shepherds



Allegory of Victory



Birth of the Virgin



Child Christ before the instruments of the Passion



Country interior



Landscape with an old woman



Peasants at their Cottage Door



The Young Card-players



Smokers in an interior



The Artist’s Studio



The Blacksmith at His Forge



The Peasant’s Meal



The Supper at Emmaus



Two Girls



Venus in Vulcan’s Forge

All Louis Le Nain Artwork on Artchive

Artwork Name Year Medium
Peasant Family In An Interior c. 1642 Oil On Canvas
Peasant Meal 1642 Oil on Canvas
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