Henri Rousseau was a French painter and one of the most notable naive artists of the modern era. He is known for his vibrant and intricate paintings that depict wild animals, lush jungles, and exotic figures. Despite receiving no formal artistic training, Rousseau’s work influenced many avant-garde artists.
Rousseau worked in the Parisian customs service for over two decades while pursuing his passion for painting. He used handbooks, Academic paintings, and ready-made designs found in magazines to learn about art techniques. Although he was mocked during his lifetime, Rousseau aspired to be recognized by the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
His richly colored pictures portraying nature were consistently naive yet imaginative earning him a “primitive” label which he wore proudly throughout his career. His unique style depicted an ideal view of nature with wild tigers roaming free through dense forests with brilliantly colored foliage dominating vast landscapes.
Henri Rousseau’s art celebrated fantasy above all else and has become well-known throughout Europe today due to its uniqueness as well as its influence on other artists from different cultures around the word including Matisse among others.