Portrait of a Man (1905) by Henri Rousseau

Portrait of a Man - Henri Rousseau - 1905

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Man
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Portrait of a Man

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Man” is a creation of Henri Rousseau, completed in the year 1905. This piece is rendered in oil on canvas, exemplifying the Naïve Art movement, specifically its Primitivism branch. The genre of the artwork is portraiture, and presently, it is housed in a private collection, away from public exhibition.

The artwork portrays a male figure facing forward, set against a light blue background that takes on the semblance of a cloudy sky. The man, presumably middle-aged, is clad in a black suit with a peaked lapel, beneath which a white shirt and a yellowish tie are visible. His attire is formal, and there is a sense of respectability and sobriety to his appearance.

Henri Rousseau’s distinctive style, characterized by simplicity and a certain directness, is evident in the portrayal of the man’s features. The subject’s physiognomy is captured with a minimal yet bold use of lines—his cheeks are accentuated with rosy brushstrokes, his brows are thick and prominent, and his dark hair is parted to one side neatly. Notably, Rousseau’s approach lacks the nuanced shading or refinement pervasive in the works of academically trained artists, which is a hallmark of the Naïve Art movement. The man’s expression is serious, bordering on stern, with a trace of introspection or concern that holds the viewer’s attention. Despite the simple technique, the artwork conveys a convincing sense of the sitter’s demeanor and personality.

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