F.A. RAVIER is a painter of instinct, entirely self-taught. Oral tradition, told
to his biographer F. THIOLLIER, mentions that while studying Law in Paris,
he attended as an amateur the Workshop of Jules COIGNET and Théodore
CARUELLE d’ALIGNY. This remains to be proved.
We can be sure however that in 1839, during his summer vacation in
Royat in the Puy de Dôme, after having obtained his solicitor‘sdiploma, his
meeting with Jn Bpt Cam COROT would influence his early artistic career.
Between 1840 and 1848, he would make several training trips to and
From 1848 onwards, RAVIER worked mainly in the regions of Lyon and
Dauphiné, his principal subject being Nature. In 1850 he settled in
Crémieu, Isère, where in 1852 he married Antoinette DESSAIGNE who
would give him five children. He invited numerous artists to join him there,
in particular L. FRANÇAIS, C. DAUBIGNY and C. COROT, and many other
painters from Lyon and Geneva.
In 1867 he acquired a lovely home in Morestel, which nowadays houses
the Ravier Museum, and set to painting the surrounding area with a lively
palette. He lived modestly but comfortably.
Fascinated by the special lighting at dawn or dusk, he usually worked
outdoors. The rest of the day or late into the the evenings he continued
working in his studio. He admitted admiring the « ancient » painters such
as LE POUSSIN or LE LORRAIN, also the « moderns » : TURNER, DELACROIX
During his lifetime, oblivious to fame, RAVIER practically never held any
exhibition of his work, which therefore was not referenced. His official
reputation thereby suffered, as did also his subsequent market value.
From his copious correspondancewe perceive his methods of working and
of interpreting Nature, his philosophy of Life, and his extremely audacious
art which influenced – or disturbed – most of his artist friends. These
referred to him as « Master ».
He does not hold the place he deserves in the world of Art History, despite
being mentioned as a “nugget of gold” in his own class. RAVIER is not
easily accessible, he must be merited