Henri Rousseau’s Myself: Portrait-Landscape is a Post-Impressionist Oil on Canvas Painting from 1890 that currently resides at the Prague National Gallery in the Czech Republic. The painting depicts Rousseau standing in front of a Parisian landscape featuring the Eiffel Tower and a ship decorated with world flags. He presents himself as a serious man with a palette in his hand while wearing a black suit and traditional artist’s beret.
Notably, Rousseau frequently updated the painting throughout the years with additional autobiographical details, including adding his two wife’s names to his palette. Myself: Portrait-Landscape reflects the artistic confidence of the painter and showcases new levels of perception.
Rousseau was primarily known for his naïve, or primitive, childlike jungle scenes, although he was also capable of more elaborate pieces like this one. Additionally, he was a self-taught painter who spent most of his life working as a customs officer. The combination of being an outsider artist and having steady employment likely influenced both the style choice in Myself: Portrait-Landscape and its autobiographical elements.
Overall, Henri Rousseau’s Myself: Portrait-Landscape serves as an important example both of Post-Impressionist portraiture and outsider art philosophy, which valorizes untrained artists over those educated within formal academic settings. As such it remains deeply relevant within art circles even today.