Thursday, April 25, 2013

Riviere, Briton

oil on canvas
102 x 122 cm (39,9 x 47,9 inches)
Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, Surrey, UK

This painting shows a little girl who has been sent to bed early as a punishment sitting on the stairs being comforted by a dog. Riviere recorded that he painted the little girl from his daughter.

Briton Riviere (1840 - 1920) was a genre and animal painter, etcher and sculptor born in London, England, of Huguenot descent. His father was an art teacher at Oxford University. He was educated at Oxford, where he took his degree. For his art training he was indebted almost entirely to his father, and early in life made for himself a place of importance among the artists of his time.

His early works, titled as The eve of the Spanish Armada and a Romeo and Juliet, were influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. However, subjects of this kind did not attract him long, for in 1865 he began a series of paintings of animal-subjects. He made his reputation with a painting that portrayed pigs, and indeed his most well known pictures were of animals-subjects which  occupied him almost exclusively for the rest of his life. His pictures of dogs were sentimental and extremely popular. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1875, becoming a full member in 1880.