Henri Rivière

About Artist: Henri Rivière (March 11, 1864 – August 24, 1951) was a French artist and designer best known for his creation of a form of shadow play at the Chat Noir cabaret, and for his post-Impressionist illustrations of Breton landscapes and the Eiffel Tower.Rivière was born in Paris. His father ran a haberdashery shop in the city. In 1870, fleeing from the advancing Prussians during the Franco-Prussian war, his father moved the family back to his childhood home in the Pyrenees. He died three years later and Rivière's mother returned to Paris and remarried. Rivière grew up in Paris, showing an early interest in art, especially Impressionism.After a brief period working at an ostrich-feather importation business, Rivière signed on for formal training in art with the painter Émile Bin. From 1880, he was contributing illustrations to magazines and journals. Rivière soon became associated with the cabarets in Montmartre, especially the popular Chat Noir (Black Cat) café. From 1882, Rivière worked as part of the editorial team on the weekly Chat Noir journal, which published light verse, short stories and illustrations. Rivière edited and contributed art and reviews to the journal until 1885.In 1886 Rivière created a form of shadow theatre at the Chat Noir under the name "ombres chinoises". This was a notable success, lasting for a decade until the cafe closed in 1897. He used back-lit zinc cut-out figures which appeared as silhouettes. Rivière was soon joined by Caran d'Ache and other artists, initially performing d'Ache's drama L’Epopee. From 1886 to 1896, Rivière created 43 shadow plays on a great variety of subjects from myth, history and the Bible.

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