André and Berthe Noufflard


Prize Noufflard

The biennial prize awards a young figurative artist, no older the 45 years of age, painting in oils.

Henri Rivière

and the Noufflards

Image flottante

Among the oldest and dearest friends of André and Berthe Noufflard was Henri Rivière (1864 – 1951). Painter, engraver and collector, he was known at a very young age for his collaboration with Rodolph Salis at the Chat Noir (black cat), an artistic cabaret for which he created and directed the Shadow Theatre. He realized numerous watercolours, lithographs and for his magnificent prints (carved panels in wood, each one coloured separately) influenced by Japanese art, very much “ à la mode” at the time.

It was in 1897 that Rivière discovered Madame Langweil’s antique shop on the occasion of reunions of amateurs of Japanese art organized by Madame Langweil. He soon became a regular visitor and friend, and in 1902 oriented the young Berthe towards painting having observed in her the eye of a true painter and assisted her as often as possible e.g., taking her to see expositions.

A profound friendship grew between the young girl 15 years old and the man of 38 who seemed to her to be “a very old man”. She wrote, “Rivière helped me begin painting, at first by his encouragements. He even posed – Heaven, when I think- 40 times for the poor portrait I made of him (1905), fussy in the midst of Japanese boxes” - cited in the book, André and Berthe Noufflard, their life, their paintings – an evocation.

After Berthe’s marriage, Rivière extended his profound friendship to the couple who reciprocated wholeheartedly. The only foreign voyage made by Rivière was to Italy with the Noufflards, visiting Toscany and Ombria with Florence as a base.He often painted with André in the south of France (province) and in Normandy as well as the surroundings of Paris. From 1921 onward he and his wife spent the majority of their summers with the Noufflards at Fresnay. In the 1930s Rivière spent winters in Provence where André often joined him for painting sessions. When his wife, Eugénie, died in 1943 André went to get him, and installed him at their home in the Dordogne, where they had sought refuge and where Rivière resumed painting watercolours.

At the end of his life he was both ill and nearly blind. He was first taken care of by the Noufflards in Paris where he spent the winter before going to the home of Henriette, their daughter and also a physician at her home in Sucy. Upon his death he was buried, as he wished, in the churchyard at Fresnay near his long time friends.

He often posed for André and Berthe. We can cite: Henre Rivière in his studio, 1931 (André) Carnavalet Museum – Paris Henri Rivière at Fresnay, 1942 (Berthe) private collection

Internet site:
Three publications from the documents inherited by Henriette and Geneviève Noufflard
Ses mémoires: Les detours du chemin, souvenirs, notes et croquis
Aquarelles inédites : La Bretagne et La Provence
These works are published by Eqinoxe, La Massane, Les Joncades basses, 13210 St-Remy-de-Provence

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