Wednesday Art

Briton Rivière (14 August 1840 – 1920) was an Irish artist born in London.  His family included several painters, and so Briton Riviere was introduced to art at a young age. He studied drawing and painting at Oxford, where, incidentally, his father William Riviere had persuaded the University to introduce the study of art for undergraduates. Though he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1858, Riviere's first real success came only in 1869, with his picture The Long Sleep, showing an old man dead in his chair, watched by his two dogs (to sad to show below).  Riviere produced a mix of contemporary genre, classical and animal subjects, building a reputation as a fine colourist.  I had difficulty finding information about his private life or much about his works even though you probably recognise these paintings he isn't a painter that we hear about anymore.

The painting below “Sympathy” is a characteristic Victorian picture of a child in disgrace sitting on the stairs being comforted by her dog.  It tells its own story and shows unspoken sympathy between the dog and the little girl.

(I am not sure about the dog to the left - looks ready to bite)
"The spoonfull"


  1. Very talented! He obviously enjoyed painting animals just as much (or more) than people, and they are beautifully realistic!!

  2. How lovely. :) I am always amazed at a true artists ability to capture feeling and life in the skin, hands, faces and features of people and animals...really lovely.

  3. I am absolutely loving art appreciation class with you! I love paintings that tell stories, like these do. I had never heard of this artist, either.

  4. I really like these paintings... anything with an animal in it usually scores higher points with me lol.

    The first painting demonstrates why the dog is known as 'man's best friend'.

    The last one is interesting too.


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