Apes in the Orange Grove (1910) by Henri Rousseau

Apes in the Orange Grove - Henri Rousseau - 1910

Artwork Information

TitleApes in the Orange Grove
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Dimensions162.5 x 111 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Apes in the Orange Grove

Henri Rousseau’s “Apes in the Orange Grove,” created in 1910, is an exquisite artifact of the Naïve Art movement, particularly Primitivism. Executed in oil on canvas, the painting measures 162.5 by 111 centimeters. Listed as a wildlife painting, this artwork emanates a raw and unrefined charm, consistent with the sensibilities of Naïve Art. Currently, the piece resides in a private collection, withholding it from public exhibition.

The artwork depicts a lush orange grove teeming with dense, verdant foliage that cloaks the canvas in numerous shades of green. Amidst the greenery, orange fruits add a vibrant contrast with their warm, inviting color. Peppered within this tropical tableau are several primates, their dark forms subtly intertwined with the surroundings. Their enigmatic eyes gaze out from the canvas, engaging the viewer with a directness characteristic of Rousseau’s subjects. The scene is devoid of human presence, creating an atmosphere of untamed nature that envelops the viewer. There’s a palpable sense of stillness, almost as if time has paused to capture the eternal connection between the creatures and their natural habitat.

The layering of vegetation and the flat, almost two-dimensional portrayal of the plants and animals capture the essence of Rousseau’s self-taught style. The composition lacks the conventional perspective, instead presenting a dreamlike space that brings every element to the forefront. This technique imbues the scene with an intense immediacy and an almost enigmatic quality, inviting viewers to ponder the painting’s serene narrative.

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