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The Life and Art of Henri Rousseau

A brief overview of Rousseau's life and art, focusing on his jungle paintings.

Karen McBride

on 9 March 2011

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Transcript of The Life and Art of Henri Rousseau

May 21, 1844 .................................................... Henri Rousseau was born in the Loire Valley in France. His father was a tinsmith At school, Rousseau was mediocre in some subjects but won prizes for drawing and music.
In 1863, Henri got in trouble and joined the army. He served for 4 years. Who Was Henri Rousseau? His nickname
was Le Douanier
(the customs official) He is known as a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. Henri Rousseau The
Life and Art
of 1863 When his father died, Rousseau moved to Paris in 1868 to support his mother as a government employee. In this year he also married Clémence Boitard, with whom he had six children (only one survived). 1868 In 1871, he became a tax collector on goods entering Paris. 1871 Rousseau started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art
full time. Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. His best known paintings depict jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!) (1891) was the first of many jungle scenes for which Rousseau is best known. In 1886, he started showing his work regularly. 1886 In 1891, his painting called Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!) was exhibited, and Rousseau received his first serious review. 1891 Self-portrait of the Artist with a Lamp The Sleeping Gypsy The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope, 1905 Apes in the Orange Grove Combat of a Tiger and a Buffalo The Merry Jesters Exotic Landscape II His inspiration
came from illustrated books and the botanical gardens in Paris, as well as stuffed wild animals. Rousseau is quoted as saying: "When I go into the glass houses and I see the strange plants of exotic lands, it seems to me that I enter into a dream." At times Rousseau was belittled and
made fun of. Even today some art critics
regard his art as something nice to look at but
not as serious art. They felt his art looked childish. The art critic, Félix Vallotton, wrote: "His tiger surprising its prey ought not to be missed; it's the alpha and omega of painting." Legacy or how he influenced others The song:
The Jungle Line,
by Joni Mitchell,
is based on and depicts a Rousseau painting. One of his
paintings was used
as inspiration for
the animated film: Madagascar!! Rousseau's work influenced Wallace Steven's poetry. Rousseau's work influenced several generations of artists, including Picasso, Jean Hugo, Léger, Beckmann and the Surrealists DIED:
Sept. 2, 1910 His nickname
was Le Douanier
(the customs official) Tropical Forest with Apes and Snake
Full transcript