Loos, Henry (fl. 1870-1894)

Loos, Henry (fl. 1870-1894)

Hailing from Antwerp, Belgium, Henry Loos was an accomplished ship-portraitist.

Given the thriving nature of maritime trade during the latter part of the 19th century, each major continental port developed a flourishing art industry. British sailors, for example, could bring back portraits of their ships from over a dozen destinations. Today, these fascinating mementos of successful voyages serve not only as decoration but also as a record of the ship in question. 

Antwerp was one of the busier ports and produced several ship painters of distinction. One of the foremost was Petrus Cornelius Weyts (1799-1855), whose works often surface in Britain. He was a master of reverse glass painting, the skill of depicting a subject, flipped, onto glass using various mediums. The technique was popular in Antwerp and resulted in a crisp and vivid style, often enhanced with strong colouring. As a result, the following generation of artists, inspired by this, painted in a similar way when working on canvas.

Here, in this piece from 1874, we see a fine example of Antwerp's distinctive manner. Henry Loos, a local artist of repute, has adopted a clean-cut, and rather striking, approach to capture this full-rigged British ship. It’s heeling to the port side, partially revealing its deck for added interest. There’s land beyond, probably a view of the ship’s home port.

Henry Loos

Little is known about the life of Henry Loos but it’s likely that he was the brother of John Frederick Loos (fl. 1861-1895) whose works exhibit similar traits.

He’s represented at the National Library of Wales.

Public Collections

National Library of Wales, The Nottage in Wivenhoe.

Selection Of Works

Top Sail Schooner Jane and Alice at Antwerp Master Owner Capt. Morris Lloyd (1870)
Portrait of the British Snow ‘Philia’ Sailing Past a Distant Shore (1872)
Manitoba, British (1872)
Portrait of the British Brig Philia (1872)
A Study of the Barque ‘Miss Thornton’ (1873)
Portrait of a British Barque (1874)
SS Minnie, Portrait of the Sailing Steam Ship (1877)
The Topsail Schooner Roseola off the Dutch Coast (1879)
The Duncrag in Coastal Waters (1891)
Lindisfarne (1892)
Three-masted Barque Sailing Off a Coastline, Flying the Red Ensign (1892)
The Ship Lindisfarne Outward Bound (1892)
‘Aigburth’ Running Down the Channel in Full Sail (1892)
The Three-Masted Norwegian Barque Victoria off Eddystone Lig (1893)
The Victoria at Sea (1893)
‘Barranca’ (1894)
'Barque Barranca, Captain C J Nylén Passing South for Land' (1897)
Glenesk off the Coast (1898)
'The Millie Bain, Under Full Sail Nearing Eddystone' (1904)
Portrait of the Three-master ‘British Isles’ (1904)
The Barquentine ‘Countess of Devon’ off the Eddystone Lighthouse (1904)
Portrait de Voilier en Bord de Côte (1904)
Skibsportraet af ‘British Isles’ (1904)

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