Self Portrait (c.1905) by Henri Rousseau

Self Portrait - Henri Rousseau - c.1905

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Dimensions13.8 x 17.8 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationBrooklyn Museum, New York City, NY, US

About Self Portrait

The artwork “Self Portrait” by Henri Rousseau dates from circa 1905 and is executed in oil on canvas. It exemplifies the Naïve Art (Primitivism) movement, a genre known for its simplicity and lack of concern for classical perspective. The dimensions of the painting are modest, measuring approximately 13.8 by 17.8 cm. As a self-portrait, it offers a personal glimpse into the artist’s self-representation. Currently, the artwork is housed at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, New York, United States.

The “Self Portrait” by Henri Rousseau features the artist’s depiction of himself with a stern, almost expressionless, visage. His face occupies the central portion of the canvas, set against a muted, nondescript background which draws the viewer’s attention to the figure. Rousseau’s signature, prominent facial features such as his styled mustache and dark, discerning eyes, are rendered with a straightforward realism intrinsic to his self-taught technique. The addition of a small vase of flowers to his right (viewer’s left) adds a touch of color and life to the otherwise austere composition. This particular element, possibly symbolic or simply decorative, contrasts with the dark attire and the soberness of the sitter. Overall, the portrait is indicative of Rousseau’s unique approach to art, unencumbered by academic conventions, and reflects his honest and direct style of painting.

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