Support: Wove paper
Sheet: 64.2 x 89.8 cm (25 1/4 x 35 3/8 in.); Image: 55 x 82.7 cm (21 5/8 x 32 9/16 in.)
Gift of John Bonebrake 2003.384
Catalogue raisonné: Fields p. 76, plate 3
One of sixteen images in the series Aspects of Nature, this lithograph depicts a view from Rivière’s summer home in Brittany. Rivière chose this site for the house—perched high atop gray rocks among pine trees and heather—because “[y]ou could believe yourself at the end of the world there . . . the noise of the winds and the sea, the cries of birds . . . a call of a sailor were the only sounds which enlivened the harmonious landscape, which changed in itself and its colors according to the effects and the hours.” This image of two children and a flock of sheep poised on a cliff’s edge overlooking a vast, turbulent sea perfectly evokes Rivière’s description. His brilliantly colored, large-format landscape prints played a pivotal role in the revival of the artistic lithograph at the end of the 19th century in France. The artist championed the idea that prints should be large in size, issued in large editions, and sold for relatively inexpensive prices so that art would be accessible to the general public. Rivière’s so-called mural prints were used to decorate homes, schools, shops, and restaurants.
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