Henri Rousseau’s painting titled “Liberty Inviting Artists to Take Part in the 22nd Exhibition of the Societe des Artistes Independants” is a piece of artwork done in the Naive Art style. Created in 1905-6, this painting depicts Liberty standing tall and inviting artists to participate in an exhibition. The painting is an allegory that showcases Liberty guiding artists towards freedom and independence.
Rousseau was a self-taught artist who quit his job as a civil servant to become a full-time painter. He was born into poverty and had minimal formal education or training in art, but he produced over 25 paintings throughout his lifetime. In this particular piece of art, Rousseau shows Liberty presenting herself as a leader and protector of other artists.
The Salon des Indépendants was established as an alternative to the traditional official Salon exhibitions, which were often rigidly conservative. At this exhibition, artists could exhibit without any judges determining their success or failure. Rousseau exhibited this artwork at the Salon des Indépendants along with other famous artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
Today, “Liberty Inviting Artists to Take Part in the 22nd Exhibition of the Societe des Artistes Independants” can be found at Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo. Additionally, digital copies are available for download on USEUM for anyone who would like to appreciate it from anywhere around the world!