Saturday, April 12, 2008

Henri Rousseau (The Customs Officer)

ROUSSEAU Henri, LE DOUANIER ROUSSEAU (called) (Laval, 1844 ; Paris, 1910 )
In a Tropical Forest. Struggle between Tiger and Buffalo [Circa 1908-1909 ]
Oil on canvas. 46x55 cm
The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

ROUSSEAU Henri, LE DOUANIER ROUSSEAU (called) (Laval, 1844 ; Paris, 1910 )
Le Repas du lion [The Lion`s Meal]

OIl on canvas 113,7 x 160 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

ROUSSEAU Henri, LE DOUANIER ROUSSEAU (called) (Laval, 1844 ; Paris, 1910 )
La carriole du père Junier 1908
Oil on Canvas
H. 97 ; l. 129
Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
Group portrait of Claude Junier, Mme Junier, Junier Léa, young girl, dog, a seated Henri Rousseau, and horse)

ROUSSEAU Henri, LE DOUANIER ROUSSEAU (called) (Laval, 1844 ; Paris, 1910 )
Oil on Canvas
114 H ; 195 L
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
According to Rousseau in 1894, the painting was inspired by a cartoon of the Tsar published in l'Egalité on 6th October 1889 and by the painting The Night exhibited at The Salon in 1891.

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (May 21, 1844 – September 2, 1910) was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. He is also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer) after his employment.

At age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art.

He never left France or saw a jungle. His jungle landscapes derive from his visits and studies at the Paris Botanical Gardens.

He was an outsider,and he was not familiar with the rules of the artistic establishment. Although he worked in traditional genres, producing landscapes, portraits, allegories, and exotic scenes, they were transformed in his hands, made odd in ways that provoked both derision and admiration. Flattened shapes and perspectives, the freedom of colour and style, the subordination of realistic description to imagination and invention are the hallmarks of his work.

Rousseau's work exerted influence on several generations of vanguard artists, starting with Picasso and including Léger, Beckmann and the Surrealists