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Henri Rousseau

Naive French Painter and The Father of   Surrealism

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time

Education - Self-taught

Cause of Death - Old Age

Artist Bio

Henri Rousseau was one of the most original voices to emerge from the 19th century.  According to author and art historian, Mardsen Hartley "Rousseau began his career as painter at the age of forty, though it is quite possible and probable that he was painting whenever he could, in his untutored fashion, in all of his spare intervals, and with but one object in view apparent: to give forth in terms of painting those phases of his own personal life which remained indelibly impressed upon his memory, pictorially always vivid to him, as in his pictures they are seen to be the scenes or incidents of loveliness to his fine imagination.

Hartley concludes "In Rousseau then, we have one of the finest individual expressions of the amateur spirit in painting, taking actually a place among the examples of paintings, such as those of the Kwakiutl Indians, or the sculpture of the Congo people, partaking of the very same quality of directness and simplicity, and of contact with the prevailing image chosen for representation. He was too evidently the product of himself, he was not hybrid, nor was he in any sense something strange springing up out of the soil in the dark of night, he was not mushroom. He did not know the meaning of affectation, and I doubt if he even knew what was meant by simplicity, so much was he that element himself."

Henri Rousseau Quotations

Excuse my scribbling, it is late, and I have a poor candle.-- Henri Rousseau Quote

To Picasso "We are the two greatest painters of this era: you in the Egyptian style and I in the modern style!" --Henri Rousseau Quote


Major Artists Associated with the Post-Impressionist Movement
Paul Cézanne (1839 - 1906) French, 
Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903 French
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) 
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 - 1897) French
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)  Dutch
Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) French


Important Charactoristics, Words and Phrases Associated with the Post-Impressionism Movement -   Roger Fry, 1910, France,  Ambroise Vollard, geometric forms, Paris, arbitrary colour, esoteric, Synthetist style,   landscapes, Parisian cafe Culture, 19th-century, Paris, soleil levant,  open composition, impasto, vibrant, effets de soir, natural light, en plein air, Académie des Beaux-Arts, boating, leisure activities, Landscapes, modernization, synthetic pigments, industrialization, Independent Collective, avant-garde, Primitivism, Symbolist, France, French painters, The Académie Suisse, controversial ideas about painting, physics of colour, broader strokes, fleeting impression of colour and light, bright, vibrant, flowers, figures, modern art


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