The only Canadian member of the influential École de Paris, Riopelle
moved from his native Montreal to Paris in 1947. There, he met
and became friendly with the
, although his style bore greater resemblance to
—in fact, his early expressionistic work drew direct comparisons to his contemporary,
. Works like La Loire
(1959) demonstrate Riopelle’s signature technique of applying thick strokes of paint directly onto the canvas with a palette knife rather than a brush.