Briton Rivière (August 14, 1840 – 1920), English artist, was born in London. His father, William Rivière, 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 Deer-hound, a series of paintings of animal-subjects which later occupied him almost exclusively. He also painted portraits, most notably of his brother in law, Sydney Thompson Dobell, the poet and breeder of deerhounds. A pencil sketch of Sydney Dobell by him is in the National Portrait Gallery. Sydney Dobell's deerhounds appeared in several of his works, notably The Empty Chair of 1869. Early in his career, he 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 DCL at Oxford in 1891. He was only narrowly defeated in the election for President of the Royal Academy in 1896.
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