Rivière was an animal painter, and was widely regarded as the successor of Landseer. He was also one of the few painters with an Oxford University Degree. He was the son of a well known artist. Riviere lived near to London Zoo, where he spent much time studying the physiology of animals. He painted glorified, romanticised pictures of wild animals. Another speciality was sentimental, rather humanised paintings of dogs, which found a considerable market. Rather surprisingly he only was narrowly beaten to the Presidency of the Royal Academy by Edward Poynter in 1896. Briton Rivière’s son Hugh (1869-1956) was a successful painter of portraits.