Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe

1716 – 1794

A Pair of Winter Landscapes


Gouache on Paper




17.8(h) x 22.4(w) cms


The son of the Flemish painter Jacques-Willem, Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe is considered his best pupil and a master of gouache and miniature painting.

In 1745-46 much of the fighting during the War of the Spanish Succession was not far from Lille, the town of Louis-Nicolas's birth. This proved to be a turning point in the artist's life as he would take the opportunity to court many potential aristocratic patrons from both sides of the warring factions, impressing them with his depictions of the battles that he had witnessed. Louis-Nicolas was clearly skilful at ingratiating himself with the court and by 1769 he had been appointed Battle Painter to Louis XV.

Working as the campaign painter for the French court, Louis-Nicolas followed the army in a manner not dissimilar to a war reporter. He also spent much time at the Palace of Versailles working on commissions for the aristocracy, often gouaches, miniatures, and paintings on decorative objects like snuff boxes. His most important commission is the series of twenty three gouaches painted for the French monarch depicting the Wars of Succession, which are still at Versailles today. Louis-Nicolas's aristocratic connections were vital for his livelihood and in particular his close friendship with Jean-Baptiste Berthier, the engineer and architect.


Private Collection, UK