Jungle with Lion (1904 – 1910) by Henri Rousseau

Jungle with Lion - Henri Rousseau - 1904 - 1910

Artwork Information

TitleJungle with Lion
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Date1904 - 1910
Dimensions37.7 x 45.9 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Jungle with Lion

The artwork titled “Jungle with Lion” by Henri Rousseau, completed sometime between 1904 and 1910, is an oil on canvas exemplifying the Naïve Art movement, specifically Primitivism. Measuring 37.7 by 45.9 centimeters, this wildlife painting is presently a part of a private collection. The artwork captures the exotic essence of a jungle scene, portrayed through the unique lens of Rousseau’s self-taught, unschooled artistry.

The artwork draws the observer into a lush jungle environment dominated by dense foliage and vibrant greenery. A lion, rendered with a modest yet somewhat mystical touch that is characteristic of Rousseau’s approach, is nestled among the oversized leaves in the foreground. This focal point of the artwork is depicted serenely resting, seemingly unbothered by its shadowy and dense surroundings.

Behind the lion, the density of the vegetation increases. An assortment of tropical plants, trees, and fronds fills the space, each painted with a level of detail that reflects the artist’s imaginative interpretation of a jungle rather than a scientifically accurate representation. The nighttime setting is subtly implied by the presence of a pale moon hanging in the sky, partially obscured by the treetops. Its silvery light filters through the leaves, contributing to the enchanting atmosphere of the scene.

Rousseau’s technique in this painting creates a flat, almost two-dimensional appearance, due to the lack of conventional perspective. This flattening effect, along with the use of bold contours and vibrant colors, is indicative of the Naïve Art movement and contributes to the artwork’s dreamlike, primordial quality. The scene encapsulates both the mystery of the natural world and the innocence of Rousseau’s untrained artistic vision, offering a glimpse into an untamed world as seen through the eyes of one of the most celebrated Naïve artists.

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