Henri Rousseau: ¡Surprise!, 1891

Henri Rousseau: ¡Surprise!, 1891

 

Henri Rousseau: The dream, 1910

Henri Rousseau: The dream, 1910

Henri Rousseau: jungles in Paris

The exuberant and fantastic exhibition entitled "Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" will end its cycle in the Tate Gallery of London and will be moved to the Grand Palais of Paris next June 19 th , and to the National Gallery of Washington next July 17 th . The exhibition includes a dozen of "rainforest" paintings by "Le Douanier" Rousseau, works based only in his rich imagination, since Rousseau -contrary as other artists such as Gauguin- never left France.

ABOUT HENRI ROUSSEAU

Naïf, primitivist, sauvage . Too many adjectives to describe an indescribable artist, arguably the most original and uninhibited of all the artists emerged after the twilight of the impressionism. Henri "Le Douanier" Rousseau was born on May 21st in Laval, France, son of a local tinsmith. Contrary of many famous artists of his generation, Rousseau was not early attracted by Art, and he spend seven years of his life in the Army, where he was sentenced after steal 20 francs in a lawyer's office. Rousseau did not begin its Art until the first years of the 1870s decade, copying paintings of old masters at the Louvre or Versalles.

Even in his first exhibitions at the "Salón des refusés", Rousseau caused a notorious astonishment with his primitive and colourist style, but it's in 1891 when Le Douanier caused an extraordinary shock among the critic when he exhibited the disturbing canvas entitled "¡Surprise!", which show a ferocious, dangerous beast in the middle of a fantastic rainforest background. This was the first time that Rousseau resort to the rainforest landscapes, a theme that he successfully repeated in such famous canvas as " The snake charmer " (1907, Orsay), " An American Indian Struggling with a Gorilla" (1910, Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), " The Repast of the Lion" (1907, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art) and, of course, the sensational " The dream" (1910, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art), a masterwork that resumes by itself all the magic and fantasy of Rousseau's Art.

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