Briton Riviere - Encyclopedia

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BRITON RIVIERE' (1840-), English artist, was born in London on the 14th of August 1840. His father, William Riviere, was for some years drawing-master at Cheltenham College, and afterwards an art teacher at Oxford. He was educated at Cheltenham College and at Oxford, where he took his degree in 1867. 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 first pictures appeared at the British Institution, and in 1857 he exhibited three works at the Royal Academy, but it was not until 1863 that he became a regular contributor to the Academy exhibitions. In that year he was represented by "The Eve of the Spanish Armada," and in 1864 by a "Romeo and Juliet." Subjects of this kind did not, however, attract him long, for in 1865 he began, with a picture of a "Sleeping Deerhound," that series of paintings of animal-subjects which has since occupied him almost exclusively. Among the most memorable of his productions are: "The Poacher's Nurse" (1866), "Circe" (1871), "Daniel" (1872), "The Last of the Garrison" (1875), "Lazarus" (1877), "Persepolis" (1878), "In Manus Tuas, Domine" (1879), "The Magician's Doorway" (1882), "Vae Victis" (1885), "Rizpah" (1886), "An Old-World Wanderer" (1887), "Of a Fool and his Folly there is no End" (1889), "A Mighty Hunter before the Lord" (1891), "The King's Libation" (1893), "Beyond Man's Footsteps" (1894), now in the National Gallery of British Art; "Phoebus Apollo" (1895); "Aggravation" (1896), "St George" (1900), and "To the Hills" (1901). He has also painted portraits; and at the outset of his career made some mark as an illustrator, beginning with Punch. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1878, and R.A. in 1881, and received the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford in 1891.

See Sir Walter Armstrong, "Briton Riviere, R.A.; His Life and Work," Art Annual (1891).

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