Crepin studied landscape painting under Hubert Robert and marine painting under Joseph Vernet. His knowledge and passion for the sea surely arose before his artistic education, for he had a four-year experience as a sailor, specifically as a gabier and helmsman.
His first exhibition at the prestigious Paris Salon was in 1796 with his La sortie du port de Brest. He would exhibit at the Salon very often until 1835.
By 1817, Crepin received a letter from the Minister of the Navy and Colonies, awarding him an impressive twenty-year commission, in order to execute marine paintings for the government, especially for the aforementioned Minister. However, this was a bitter-sweet moment for Crepin, for the position of the personal painter of Louis Antoine, Admiral of France and Duke of Angouleme, went to Louis Garneray - a more prestigious position than Crepin’s.
With 58 years of age, Crepin was appointed by the French government as one of the two first official painters, along with Theodore Gudin.
In 1830, the Invasion of Algiers occurred, a large-scale military campaign carried out by Charles X, King of France. The objective was to invade and conquer the Ottoman Regency of Algiers, today the capital of Algeria, and at that time, a province of the Ottoman Empire. Louis-Philippe Crepin took part in this campaign, along with much younger fellow painters, Leon Morel-Fatio and Eugene Isabey.
One of Crepin’s best-known paintings is La Bayonnaise contre la frégate anglaise l’Embuscade, which was a commission for Napoleon himself. He later depicted Napoleon on his artwork Napoleon and Marie Louise Disembarking at Antwerp.
Crepin was an exquisite maritime painter, producing especially astonishing naval battle scenes, applying rather complex layers of shadow and light, from the light of the fire on the smoke to the landscape itself. One good example of these works is Battle Between the French Frigate Arethuse and the English Frigate Amelia, executed in 1813
In 1836, Crepin ceased to exhibit; however, he maintained his position as an official marine painter, more as a ceremonial token of recognizement.
Louis-Philippe Crepin passed away in Paris in November 1851.