Henri Rousseau

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Rousseau, Henri

(äNrē` ro͞osō`), 1844–1910, French primitive painter, b. Laval. He was entirely self-taught, and his work remained consistently naive and imaginative. Rousseau was called Le Douanier [the customs officer] because he held a minor post in the Paris customs service for more than 20 years before he retired to paint (1893). Although he claimed to have lived in Mexico in his youth, he later admitted that the claim was false. The only tropical vegetation Rousseau ever saw was in Parisian greenhouses, and his remarkable landscapes had no counterpart in nature. His painted jungles are an organized profusion of carefully defined yet fantastic plants, half-concealing various wild animals with startlingly staring eyes. These scenes are rendered in a vivid, almost hypnotic folk style. The finest ones include The Snake Charmer (1907; Louvre) and The Dream (1910; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City). With the same approach Rousseau employed in painting the familiar (e.g., Village Street Scene, 1909; Philadelphia Mus. of Art), he painted the haunting and dreamlike Sleeping Gypsy (1897; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City). His fantastic Gypsy sleeps in a nighttime desert, closely observed by a lion—the entire absurdity rendered in a compelling, straightforward manner. The painting thus combines the unique elements of Rousseau's art to their most startling effect. Rousseau exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants from 1886, but did not become well known until the early years of the 20th cent. when he was "taken up" by PicassoPicasso, Pablo
(Pablo Ruiz y Picasso) , 1881–1973, Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramist, who worked in France. He is generally considered in his technical virtuosity, enormous versatility, and incredible originality and prolificity to have been the
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, ApollinaireApollinaire, Guillaume
, 1880–1918, French poet. He was christened Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky. Apollinaire was a leader in the restless period of technical innovation and experimentation in the arts during the early 20th cent.
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, and other members of the Parisian avant garde.


See R. Shattuck, The Banquet Years (1958, repr. 1968); studies by D. Vallier (1964), D. C. Rich (1946, repr. 1970), G. Adriani (2001), and F. Morris, C. Green, and N. Ireson, ed. (2006).

References in periodicals archive ?
learn about artist Henri Rousseau and create a jungle scene inspired by his work.
Estas mismas caracteristicas se presentan en la publicacion Martinica, encantadora de serpientes, escrita por Andre Breton e ilustrada por Andre Masson cuarenta anos despues e inspirada, sin duda, por el cuadro de Henri Rousseau.
Picasso purchased a wacky, intensely colored "history painting" by Henri Rousseau.
To many of us, the term tropical forest suggests an exotic setting, full of bizarrely shaped plants, with occasional huge, garishly colored flowers, and at least a hint of danger, as in a Henri Rousseau painting: an exuberant, often garish, and mysteriously perilous world.
ROSES, YOU MUST BE by Yukiki Inoue "I have never read Yukiko's poems without thinking of the paintings of Henri Rousseau.
The 19th Century artist Henri Rousseau was a customs officer who painted in his spare time as a socalled Sunday painter.
A pesar de que muchos criticos seguian opinando que Henri Rousseau "pintaba con las patas y con los ojos cerrados", en 1897 el ensayista Remy de Gourmont trato de prestigiar al artista, escribiendo con gran entusiasmo acerca de una de las obras actualmente mas conocidas del pintor, La gitana dormida, alegoria politica destinada a rendir homenaje al poderio colonial de Francia.
The focus of this engagement was the revival of Margo Sappington's Virgin Forest, inspired by the work of painter Henri Rousseau.
Closely associated with Matisse, Henri Rousseau, and other European moderns, he added to their technique the influence of Oriental art.
The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast, old master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts, and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia.
In collaboration with Russia's State Hermitage Museum, known for its collection of French art, the museum will display 89 paintings, drawings and sculptures by French masters including Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Claude Monet, and Henri Rousseau.
A My favourite artist is William Morris because of his themes of nature also Henri Rousseau because he depicts a fantasy world in nature that I expect a few of us would like to escape to.