Portrait of a Woman (1895) by Henri Rousseau

Portrait of a Woman - Henri Rousseau - 1895

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Woman
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Dimensions150 x 160 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationMusée Picasso, Paris, France

About Portrait of a Woman

The artwork entitled “Portrait of a Woman” was created by Henri Rousseau in 1895. This painting is an oil on canvas and falls within the Naïve Art movement, often referred to as Primitivism. It measures 150 by 160 centimeters and is housed at the Musée Picasso in Paris, France. As a genre, this piece is classified as a portrait.

The artwork depicts a woman standing against a railing adorned with various potted plants. She is centrally composed and dressed in a black gown with a high neckline, accented by a light blue collar that contrasts with the darker tones of her attire. Her expression is neutral, reflecting a sense of calm composure. In her right hand, she holds a sprig of greenery, while her left rests gently on the railing.

Behind her, the variegated drapery adds a rich texture and pattern to the composition, juxtaposed with the soft, overcast sky visible in the upper right corner. To the far right, a solitary bird is captured mid-flight, adding a dynamic element to the otherwise static scene. The detailing in the foliage suggests a naturalistic setting, and the overall mise-en-scène is characteristic of Rousseau’s distinctive, self-taught style, marked by a lack of conventional perspective and a flatness of form. The stylization of the subject and the directness of the portrayal are hallmarks of Naïve Art, conveying a straightforward, unpretentious vision.

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