Pair of Turkeys, Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, Hélène Rivière (1896-1977)
Pastel and charcoal on grey-brown paper bearing the INGRES watermark
Atelier stamp, lower right, and on the verso
Hélène Rivière was born in Toulouse into a milieu that was propitious for a young artist. Her mother, Pauline, was well known for her embroidery designs inspired by those she saw in the decorative arts section of the Salon des Artistes Français. Her father, Jean, who came from a family of furniture makers, was a sculptor and taught at the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse.
She grew up surrounded by the most important artists in Toulouse which was then an important center of creative activity. Among her friends when she was growing up were the important French artists Henri Martin, Henri Marre, Alexandre Falguière, and Jean Paul Laurens, among others.
At an early age, Rivière was drawn to the depiction of animals, and in 1938 she won the Rosa Bonheur prize for her talent as an animalier. She was also known for her flower paintings and for landscapes of the Tarn region, views of the eastern Pyrenees and the charming seaside villages of Collioure and Banyuls, where she spent some time being instructed by her great friend and mentor Henri Martin.
Rivière began to participate in exhibitions of artists in the south of France from 1920.
She also exhibited after 1926 in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français where her work won a silver medal in 1931 and a gold medal in 1935. She won another silver medal at the International Exposition of 1937.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Rivière became a professor of art at a school for young women in Toulouse. She died in 1977, putting an end, as one journalist wrote at the time, “to her relationship with art, the companion of her life.”
FRAMED: HEIGHT: 29 in | WIDTH: 34½ in
UNFRAMED: HEIGHT: 24¾ in | WIDTH: 19 in
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CONDITION: Framed using all acid-free materials and Conservation Clear Glass