Henri Rousseau  

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The Sleeping Gypsy (1897) by Henri Rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy (1897) by Henri Rousseau

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Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (May 21, 1844September 2, 1910) was a French fin de siècle painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. He is also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer) after his place of employment. Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.


Rousseau's work exerted an "extensive influence ... on several generations of vanguard artists, starting with Picasso and including Jean Hugo, Léger, Beckmann and the Surrealists," according to Roberta Smith, an art critic writing in The New York Times. "Beckmann’s amazing self-portraits, for example, descend from the brusque, concentrated forms of Rousseau’s portrait of the writer Pierre Loti".

The visual style of Michel Ocelot's 1998 animation film Kirikou and the Sorceress is partly inspired by Rousseau, particularly the depiction of the jungle vegetation.

Critics have noted the influence of Rousseau on Wallace Stevens's poetry. See for instance Stevens's Floral Decorations for Bananas in the collection Harmonium.

One of his works was used to be an inspiration for the animated film Madagascar.

The song The Jungle Line by Joni Mitchell is based upon a Rousseau painting.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Henri Rousseau" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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