Jaguar Attacking a Horse (1910) by Henri Rousseau

Jaguar Attacking a Horse - Henri Rousseau - 1910

Artwork Information

TitleJaguar Attacking a Horse
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Dimensions116 x 90 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

About Jaguar Attacking a Horse

The artwork “Jaguar Attacking a Horse” is a distinguished piece by artist Henri Rousseau, completed in the year 1910. This wildlife painting is rendered in oil on canvas and is a prime example of Naïve Art, specifically within the Primitivism movement. It measures 116 x 90 cm and currently resides at the Pushkin Museum located in Moscow, Russia.

The artwork depicts a dramatic and vibrant scene set within a dense jungle environment. A jaguar is seen in the midst of a ferocious attack on a horse. The composition is rich with lush green vegetation, which engulfs the figures in a claustrophobic embrace, enhancing the intensity of the encounter. Rousseau’s use of color and detail in the flora creates a lively, almost suffocating tropical atmosphere, contrasted sharply by the violence of the struggle between the two animals. The horse, clearly caught off-guard, struggles against the predator with an expression of fear and surprise visible on its face.

Despite the violent theme, the painting possesses a certain stillness, partly due to Rousseau’s characteristic naive style, which gives the scene an almost dreamlike quality. This stylization includes simplified shapes, a lack of perspective and shadow, and vivid, sometimes unrealistic colors, all of which serve to add a layer of surrealism to the artwork. Henri Rousseau, though self-taught, managed to captivate the art world with his unique perspective and became one of the most celebrated exemplars of the Naïve Art style.

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