Henri Rivière, Planche 25, Dans la tour (Plate 25, Inside the Tower), from Les trente-six vues de la Tour Eiffel (Thirty-six Views of the Eiffel Tower), 1888-1902. Lithograph, 6 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. (16.8 x 21 cm.) Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Visitors who have become enamored of Henri Rivière’s lithographs of the Eiffel Tower, which he published in Thirty Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, a take-off on Hokusai’s Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji, might want to head over to the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Gallery, where there is a special exhibition of Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji through June 17 as part of the Cherry Blossom-inspired Japan Spring celebration with the National Gallery of Art. Hokusai’s series established a standard of innovation in Japanese printmaking for years to come and was heralded for its startling compositions and technical mastery. Several rare, early prints with unusual coloration are included in the exhibition.
Detail. Under the Wave off Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji). Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) Ca. 1830-1832. Japan. Edo period. Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper, 10 1/8 x 14 15/16 in. (25.7 x 37.9 cm). Published by Eiudo. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (JP1847). Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Photo Credit: Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY
Hokusai: Japanese Screens and Hokusai: Paintings and Drawings are complementary installations also on view at the Freer Gallery of Art.
Chief Curator Eliza Rathbone describes Henri Rivière’s photographs and prints of the then-brand-new Eiffel Tower on the Snapshot exhibition audio tour. Rivière will be the subject of gallery talks at the museum at 6 and 7 pm tonight as part of Phillips after 5.
(left) Henri Rivière, Plate 36, The Painter in the Tower, from Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, 1888–1902. Lithograph, 8 1/4 x 6 5/8 in. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. (right) Henri Rivière, The Eiffel Tower: Painter on a knotted rope along a vertical girder, below an intersection of girders, 1889. Gelatin silver print, 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Gift of Mme Bernard Granet and her children and Mlle Solange Granet, 1981. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Just as the Eiffel Tower was being completed Henri Riviere and several friends were invited by Gutave Eiffel to climb inside it to the top and to experience its thrilling modernity and dizzying heights. That he recorded this experience in photographs was utterly unknown for many years. Continue reading