Henri Biva was a French painter of landscapes and floral subjects active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Biva’s naturalistic but somewhat romanticized landscapes often used a theatrical framing device, inherited from Claude Lorrain: dark foreground elements provide a kind of curtain, past which lighter passages beckon the viewer to enter the picture.
Sometimes Biva’s use of this is a bit overt, to the point of being heavy-handed, but when it works, it works wonderfully. Combined with Biva’s sense of light in woodland interiors, it makes the invitation to step into his paintings irresistible.
Unfortunately, in addition to the usual vagaries to which online art images are prone — shifted color, oversaturation and so on — a number of the available images of Biva’s work are blurred or out of focus. I’ve attempted to color correct a few of the examples here.
There area few examples of his work available in high-resolution zoomable images from auction houses, listed below.
Wikipedia, bio and images
Wikipedia, Mantin à Villeneuve (single painting)
Williams & Sons (use fullscreen option)
Sotheby's, and here
Christie's, and here (zoomable)
3 Replies to “Henri Biva”
His paintings reminds me a lot of the Danish painter Peder Mork Mønsted, and the Russian painter Ivan Shishkin.
Thanks, James. I agree. I came across his work while looking for high-resolution Mønsted images.
For the benefit of other readers, see James Gurney’s posts that mention Peder Mork Mønsted and Ivan Shishkin, and my own posts on Peder Mork Mønsted and Ivan Shishkin.
I found Biva’s painting during my daily prowl on the same website of SIMONIS & BUUNK Collectie:
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