auguste ravier
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 around Rome.
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 or COROT. 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