Louis Vivin (French 1861-1936)
Louis Vivin was born in the countryside town of Hadol, France in 1861. He moved to Paris in 1880, where he worked as an inspector for the French postal service. He eventually settled down in Montmartre where during his spare time, having been interested in art from an early age found time to paint and draw. On his retirement in 1923 from the postal service, he devoted himself full time to painting. Vivin's early works, often melancholy in mood, were landscapes and scenes of his native countryside, painted from memory and often with narrative elements. In visits to the Louvre he admired the detail of Meissonier's paintings, which he emulated in his own work by reference to sketches, illustrations, postcards and other ephemera. This extraordinary clutter, intertwining his life and art, astonished Wilhelm Uhde, who championed Vivin's paintings after seeing them exhibited in the open air at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur during an exhibition in 1925. Vivin's first one-man exhibition, at the Galerie des Quatre Chemins, was organized by Uhde in 1927.