Portrait of Josephine the artist’s second wife (1900 – 1903) by Henri Rousseau

Portrait of Josephine the artist's second wife - Henri Rousseau - 1900 - 1903

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Josephine the artist's second wife
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Date1900 - 1903
Dimensions17 x 22 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationMusée Picasso, Paris, France

About Portrait of Josephine the artist's second wife

The artwork titled “Portrait of Josephine the artist’s second wife” was created by Henri Rousseau between 1900 and 1903. This oil on canvas portrait is a representation of Naïve Art, otherwise known as Primitivism, notable for its simplicity and frankness. It measures 17 x 22 cm and is classified as a portrait genre. The artwork is housed in the Musée Picasso in Paris, France.

The artwork depicts the head and the upper part of the body of Josephine, Rousseau’s second wife. She is portrayed in profile, looking to her right, with a solemn and introspective expression. The artist has used a restrained palette, predominantly featuring earth tones that convey a sense of warmth and earnestness. Josephine’s hair is pulled back smoothly, and she wears a simple gold earring. Attired in a dark-striped garment with a decorated collar, her clothing suggests modest fashion of the era. The use of straightforward brushwork and the direct gaze of the subject exemplify the unadorned and personal nature of Naïve Art. Behind Josephine, there is an element that appears to be a golden lamp or decorative object, providing minimal context and maintaining focus on her visage. This work is indeed reflective of Henri Rousseau’s distinct and untrained style that came to be greatly appreciated for its sincerity and unique artistic voice.

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