Landscape with Monkeys (1908) by Henri Rousseau

Landscape with Monkeys - Henri Rousseau - 1908

Artwork Information

TitleLandscape with Monkeys
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US

About Landscape with Monkeys

“Landscape with Monkeys” is a captivating artwork by Henri Rousseau, created in 1908. This oil on canvas piece is a representation of the Naïve Art movement, particularly Primitivism, and is categorized as a wildlife painting. The artwork is currently housed at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA, US.

The artwork plunges viewers into a lush, tropical jungle scene teeming with vibrant flora. In the foreground, broad, linear leaves, possibly belonging to banana plants or similar foliage, dominate the composition, their stark white edges providing a stark contrast against the darker greens of the background. Amid this dense thicket of greenery, the titular monkeys make an appearance, engaging in various activities that add a sense of life and movement to the scene. One monkey is perched high among the branches, while another is visible lower down among the leaves, its face peeking out with a sense of playfulness.

The jungle is rendered with meticulous detail, every leaf and branch is carefully delineated, and the plants’ forms are somewhat stylized, which is characteristic of Rousseau’s self-taught style. Rousseau’s use of vivid color and flat areas of paint emphasizes the flatness of the canvas, creating a dreamlike, almost otherworldly atmosphere. Indeed, the dense composition and the rich palette of greens, punctuated by the warm reds of the flowers and fruits, contribute to the artwork’s exotic allure. This dreamlike quality is heightened by Rousseau’s disregard for accurate scale and perspective, further underscoring the painting’s naive charm. Overall, “Landscape with Monkeys” captures an idyllic and untamed natural world through the unique lens of Rousseau’s imaginative vision.

Other Artwork from Henri Rousseau

More Naïve Art (Primitivism) Artwork

Scroll to Top