Briton Riviere
Beyond Man’s Footsteps exhibited 1894

Artwork details

Briton Riviere 1840–1920
Beyond Man’s Footsteps
Date Exhibited 1894
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1190 x 1845 mm
frame: 1590 x 2255 x 150 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1894
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1890

Display caption

The animal painter Briton Rivière was interested in Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution and the relationship of animals to man. Beyond Man’s Footsteps represents the Arctic as a place of extreme and sublime beauty where man is, as yet, nowhere to be seen and the polar bear reigns. Rivière did not visited the region, and based his painting on a captive bear in London Zoo and on dramatic written accounts of Arctic explorers.

February 2016

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