Louise Rayner had four sisters and one brother, all of whom became artists. The family lived in Matlock Bath and Derby from 1828 until they moved to London in 1842.
In her work she depicted cities and ruins as well as stately homes and their surroundings. Louise is first recorded as being in Chester in 1869, by which point she had reached her mature style. Her paintings from this period are very detailed and highly picturesque, capturing the "olde worlde" character of Chester and other cities. She often filled her most finished works with figures going about their daily tasks, including street sellers and purchasers. Louise travelled extensively throughout Britain each summer during the 1870s and 1880s, and also visited northern France. Her watercolours include scenes of Edinburgh, Shrewsbury, Gloucester, York, London, Coventry, Windsor and Salisbury. Her compositions are highly popular with the public, and they are certainly very charming.
Louise Rayner was a very able draughtsperson. Some of her views of Chester, such as Harvie's Almshouses in Duke Street, provide our only images of these buildings.