Peter Layne Arguimbau

Peter Layne Arguimbau is an American painter, restorer and historian of classical art. Peter paints portraits, animals, and landscapes, but is notorious for his classical marines. Peter’s father, Vincent, was a portrait painter who started to develop his son’s skills at an early age. In 1958 a colleague of Vincent’s came to the Arguimbau’s home to concoct a 17th century paint formula known as the Maroger Medium, all under Peter’s watchful eye. Following this nascent realization Peter began a lifelong pursuit of the technique and study of Renaissance painting.

Peter Arguimbau | America’s Cup | Oil | 24 x 37″
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Born in Darien, Connecticut in 1951, the family lived between Scotts Cove and Seville, Spain. Arguimbau says his father tried to dissuade him from following in his footsteps. “You’ll never earn money as a painter,” his father once told him. But young Peter was a rebel. He dropped out of college after one year and as a young adult he painted sidewalk art in front of St. Thomas Church in New York City. He made so much money doing that, he says, he had to take a cab home because he couldn’t carry all the coins given to him by passersby.

Peter Arguimbau | Riverside | Oil | 6 x 16″
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Arguimbau signs his paintings “Layne” because it’s all about the painting, not about him, he says. Peter went on to study under Frank Mason at the Art Students League of New York for 14 years. Peter then traveled abroad for a three-year classical study of the Baroque Era in Florence, Rome, and Naples, as well as Hellenistic Classicism in Athens, Olympia, and Delphi. He learned the techniques of the old masters by copying paintings from museums throughout Europe and America. After a decade spent testing recipes from 15th-century manuscripts with restorer Pierro Mannoni, Peter continues to grind his colors from powdered pigments and cooks his mediums by hand.

Peter Arguimbau | Evening Reflections | Oil | 30 x 40″
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Arguimbau paints in an 1850s romantic chestnut barn in backcountry Greenwich steps from his home. There are at least 1,000 paintings hanging on walls and marshaled on shelves as thin as moldings that sweep through two rooms. Dozens of paintings are on the floor, leaning against the aged boards of the building. A four-wheeled carriage left by the former owner is suspended from the ceiling. He begins his day by mixing paints, something he has done since he was 8, and makes it look so easy. His easel faces a window that admits northern light controlled by a shade.

Peter Arguimbau.

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