Louis Meijer was a Dutch painter, etcher, lithographer, and draftsman. He was one of the 19th century’s leading Dutch marine painters. He painted in the Romantic tradition and is best known for his seascapes. He was born in Amsterdam. In 1827 he left for France where he practiced landscape painting. In 1831 he returned to Holland and settled in Deventer in 1835, where he stayed until 1839. Initially, Meijer painted landscapes, forest scenes and ice scenes. However, his big breakthrough came when he convincingly depicted the ‘Shipwreck of H.M. Steamboat Willem I on the Lucipara’. This painting immediately brought him great fame and it was logical that Meijer specialized in seascapes around 1839.
He left for a second period to France, where he stayed from 1842-1847. During this time he became increasingly skilled in painting seascapes with ships. After a trip across the Mediterranean in 1846, Meijer completely devoted himself to this genre. He was so successful that his entry to the Salon in Paris in 1847 received much praise. The leading French magazine Journal des Artistes even stated that Louis Meijer was ‘le roi de la marine’, who had deposed the famous French marine painter Théodore Gudin.
Meijer became one of the most famous marine painters of his time. His atmospheric navies earned him royal honors in several countries and a large number of prizes at exhibitions. One element that he mastered like no other was the expression of the sea water and the sunlight that plays through the water.