Robert Sivard

Fine Art

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France Soir

From ‘France Soir’, 1953:

Robert Sivard, a young American diplomat, has painted a series of “Portraits of Paris” that are probably the most amusing and least diplomatic ever painted by an American in Paris. They are being exhibited at the Craven Gallery. Sivard was a professional painter and commercial artist before the war. Pearl Harbor made him a soldier, and the Cold War, a diplomat. He directs the Visual Information Service at the United States Embassy.

When he is not occupied with folders and commercial art, Sivard plants an easel before the old houses and shops of the Left Bank. He doesn’t care for the landscapes and compositions; the panoramas leave him indifferent. Maliciously, he installs himself before a concierge’s lodge and details it with a tiny brush. Nothing is left out, neither the notice that the gas meter is to be read, nor the fancy lace curtains.

Sivard has painted a horse butcher with the boss and his helper on the door sill, the St. Denis baths, a laundry, a carpenter shop. His masterpiece is the facade of the animal clinic on Rue St. Andre des Arts, which is patronized by the Duke of Windsor. The painter-diplomat has presented the Duke very irreverently: posed before the door of the clinic holding a bird cage and a poodle on a leash. The dog resembles His Royal Highness like a brother. One cannot be more sympathetic.

It must be added that these paintings are not only humorous; they have undeniably strong compositions and the color relationships are excellent. Sivard is not simply a photo-realist; he is probably one of the most valuable of the young American artists.

Clinique des Animaux detail

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Detail, Clinique des Animaux

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