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Henri Biva | Naturalist painter

Henri Biva (1848-1928) was a French artist, known for his landscape paintings and still lifes.
He focused primarily on the western suburbs of Paris, painting outdoors in the plein-air tradition; his style ranging between Post-Impressionism and Realism with a strong Naturalist component.

Biva's pictures are characterized by intricate strokes and a pure palette bathed with warm natural light (Biva devoted great attention to light effects).
The artist was a member of the Société des Artistes Français and a Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur).


Henri Biva was born in Montmartre at 18 rue du Vieux Chemin de Paris (named rue Ravignan after 1867).
He grew up in an artistic environment, both within his own family and in the neighborhood in which he lived.
His younger brother Paul Biva (1851-1900) also became a painter, as would Henri Biva's son Lucien Biva (1878-1965).
In 1873 Biva studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where many famous artists in Europe were trained. His teachers included Léon Tanzi (1846-1913), an esteemed Realist painter, and Alexandre Nozal (1852-1929) a respected landscape artist that perambulated from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism.

A trace of both instructors can be contemplated in Biva's work.
This, in addition to the lessons at l'Académie Julian with William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre, would ultimately propel Henri Biva to the fore as a career artist.

These combined influences explain the skillfully controlled artistry of Henri Biva.
The Académie had a very strict and rigorous philosophy toward paintings, yet throughout its history many artists that studied there from 1868 onwards had initiated new artistic movements, or were involved to some extent within them, as was the case of Biva.
Shortly thereafter, during the latter half of the 1870s, Henri Biva began showing his works in the Parisian salon's, while enjoying sufficient commercial success to make his living. | © Wikipedia