Bouquet of Flowers (1910) by Henri Rousseau

Bouquet of Flowers - Henri Rousseau - 1910

Artwork Information

TitleBouquet of Flowers
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationKunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland

About Bouquet of Flowers

The artwork “Bouquet of Flowers” is an oil on canvas painting created by Henri Rousseau in 1910. This piece is a fine example of Naïve Art, specifically falling into the Primitivism movement. Its genre is flower painting, and it resides in the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Winterthur, Switzerland. The piece is characterized by a simplistic yet vibrant depiction of a bouquet, reflecting Rousseau’s distinctive style which eschews traditional artistic techniques in favor of a more instinctual and childlike approach.

Upon observing the artwork, one is immediately drawn to the central bouquet, which is prominently displayed in a white vase. The vase itself features a ribbed texture, adding a sense of depth and dimension to its otherwise smooth surface. The flowers are rendered in bright, bold colors, with yellow and red star-shaped blooms that capture the viewer’s attention. These are complemented by clusters of small, deep blue flowers and delicate yellow buds that appear to almost float amongst the more substantial flora.

Interestingly, among the foliage, one can also discern leaves that suggest a degree of tropical influence, possibly a reference to Rousseau’s imaginative depictions of jungle scenes in other works, even though he never visited such environments in person. The flowers are framed by large, dark green leaves with hints of yellow, hinting at a lively, lush quality.

The background of the painting is divided by a horizontal line, suggesting a tabletop or surface upon which the vase stands. The upper portion of the backdrop is executed in a muted, blush tone that contrasts with the vibrancy of the bouquet, while the lower section is a deep, warm brown. This simple partitioning of background space is characteristic of Rousseau’s works, where he often uses blocks of color to set apart different elements of his compositions.

The painting combines a naive sense of perspective with a profound attention to detail in the petals and leaves, which is a hallmark of Rousseau’s unique approach to art-making. The artwork evokes a sense of calm and beauty, inviting the viewer to contemplate the serene arrangement and the artist’s skillful application of the oil medium.

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