The Old Print Shop

Louis Ambroise Garneray


Born in Paris in 1783, Ambroise-Louis Garneray entered the French Navy at the age of 13, serving in the Indian Ocean on La Confiance. Whilst serving on the Atalante, in 1805, he was shipwrecked off the Cape of Good Hope and was transferred to the frigate Belle Poule which was captured the following year. He was confined to the prison hulk Prothée in Portsmouth Harbour and remained a prisoner until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1814. Whilst a prisoner of war, he began to paint portraits, but in 1812 he was moved ashore to a parole area. It was then that he executed a series of views of Portsmouth. After his release, he became a professional marine painter, exhibiting at the Paris Salon from 1817. In 1852 was created a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.