Landscape (1885 – 1886) by Henri Rousseau

Landscape - Henri Rousseau - 1885 - 1886

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Rousseau
Date1885 - 1886
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Landscape

The artwork “Landscape” by Henri Rousseau dates from 1885 to 1886. It is an oil on canvas piece that embodies the Naïve Art movement, also known as Primitivism. The genre of this work is classified as cityscape and it is currently held within a private collection. This piece is an exemplar of Rousseau’s unique self-taught style, which often included vividly portrayed scenes in a naïve manner.

Upon observing the artwork, one can discern a series of white residential buildings with red roofs positioned in the foreground, populated with leafy trees that appear to demarcate an orderly park or garden space. The viewer’s eye is gently led to the middle ground where the landscape features gentle rolling hills. Amidst these elevations, several structures, including what appears to be a church or a windmill, emerge, punctuating the horizon. The elevated structures are flanked by trees and bushes, colored in natural hues that suggest different vegetative or seasonal variations. The background is defined by a muted sky, which casts a serene overcast tone over the entire scene. The painting is marked with a clear and simple signature of the artist in the bottom right corner.

Henri Rousseau’s characteristic handling of form and space is notable, as the scene lacks the rigorous perspective and detailed realism often found in works from academically trained artists of his time. Instead, there is a charming simplicity and a directness of expression that has fascinated art enthusiasts and critics alike, marking Rousseau as a significant figure in the Naïve Art movement.

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