Rabbit (1908) by Henri Rousseau

Rabbit - Henri Rousseau - 1908

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US

About Rabbit

The artwork titled “Rabbit” is an oil on canvas painting by Henri Rousseau dating back to 1908. This piece can be classified under the Naïve Art movement, specifically Primitivism, and is categorized as an animal painting. The artwork is part of the collection at the Barnes Foundation located in Philadelphia, PA, US.

The artwork depicts a solitary rabbit in a stylized outdoor setting. The rabbit is positioned in the center of the composition, with its body poised close to the ground as though it is either at rest or on the alert. Its grey-white fur contrasts with the vibrant green tones of the surrounding foliage and the stark red of two carrots lying in front of it.

The setting features a detailed red brick wall occupying the background that gives way to a small plant with green leaves extending towards the upper right. The floor on which the rabbit sits is nondescript and earthy, enhancing the natural environment, though it is also stylized and lacks the detailed texturing of more realistic paintings. On the left, there is a depiction of a large cabbage or lettuce, which contributes to the construct of a garden scene.

Rousseau’s technique imbues the scene with a dreamlike quality, employing flat areas of color and a lack of perspective that’s characteristic of Naïve Art. The overall effect is one of simplicity and charm, inviting the observer to contemplate the peaceful existence of the rabbit within its serene, albeit somewhat fantastical, garden domain. Signature and date are clearly visible in the lower right corner, affirming Rousseau’s authorship of this enchanting piece.

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