Ambroise Louis Garneray
(1783 - 1857)
Handcolored Engravings from
“La Vie D’un Navire”
The French maritime painter Ambroise Louis Garneray led a life that combined art and adventure.
Born in Paris in 1783, he received his training as an artist from his father, but put to sea at the tender age of 13.
Taken prisoner by the English in 1806, he spent eight years in prison ships ( pontons - prisons made from the hulks of disabled French ships) in Portsmouth.
During this time, Garneray was able to learn English and was actually able to begin to eak out a modest living selling his watercolors.
After his return to France, his marine and shipping scenes attracted the attention of an aristocratic clientele.
By the time of his death in 1857, Garneray had designed and engraved over 100 port scenes.