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Thomas Luny

Thomas Luny: Thomas Luny

Thomas Luny


1759 - 1837

English seascape artist Thomas Luny was born in Cornwall in 1759. At aged 11 he apprenticed under London-based marine painter Francis Holman, whose influence can be seen throughout Luny’s entire body of work although Luny’s paintings tend toward a brighter palette.

After leaving Holman’s studio in 1780, Luny moved to Leadenhall Street, not far from the headquarters of the British East India Company. The company’s officers were soon commissioning portraits and narrative scenes from Luny, and, it appears, occasionally inviting him aboard one of their ships. During this time Luny was also frequently exhibiting his pieces at the Society of Artists and the Royal Academy.

At the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War, Luny interrupted his artistic career to serve as a purser in the Royal Navy. He retired from the navy in 1810, suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis that kept him in a wheelchair and forced him to hold a paintbrush with both hands or strapped to his wrist. Despite his disability, Luny painted more than 2,000 paintings between 1807 and his death in 1837. Financially successful within his lifetime, Luny recorded the title, price and purchaser of nearly every of his estimated 3,000 works. Today he is recognized as one of England's most acclaimed marine painters and his works can be seen in museums throughout Europe and America.

Last updated: November 20, 2013

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