Henri Rousseau

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Self-portrait, 1890
The Dream, 1910

Henri Julien Rousseau (1844–1910) was a post-Impressionist painter. He was born at Laval, Mayenne. He worked a variety of jobs (saxophonist, toll collector) before beginning to paint at age 40. He was known as Le Douanier ("the customs officer").

From 1886 onwards, he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendents. In 1905, he began exhibiting at the Salon d'Automne.

François Mathey wrote: "Rousseau is considered to be the greatest master of naïve painting, for his art combines a spontaneous vision of reality with an imaginary universe of great plastic and poetical power, in which he allied audacity with innocence, monumental composition with minute detail".[1]

Some critics ridiculed him for his style, but he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius.[2][3] Rousseau's work had a great influence on many avant-garde artists.[4]

He had an unhappy love affair in his last months. He died in Paris in 1910.[1]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mathey, François 1965, The Museum of Impressionism in Paris, p66/7, Fernand Hazan
  2. Rousseau at the National Gallery of Art
  3. Henri Rousseau, 1844–1910 Cornelia Stabenow pp. 7, 8
  4. Smith, Roberta (2006) "Henri Rousseau: in imaginary jungles, a terrible beauty lurks" The New York Times, July 14, 2006. Accessed July 14, 2006