The Artillerymen (1893) by Henri Rousseau

The Artillerymen - Henri Rousseau - 1893

Artwork Information

TitleThe Artillerymen
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, US

About The Artillerymen

“The Artillerymen,” a notable work by Henri Rousseau created in 1893, represents an exemplar of the Naïve Art (Primitivism) movement. This oil on canvas portrait is part of the collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum located in New York City, NY, USA. The artwork artistically depicts a group of soldiers affiliated with an artillery unit.

The artwork shows a group of artillery soldiers in uniform, positioned in a landscape that is suggestive of a serene, pastoral field. The central focus of the portrait is an artillery cannon, around which the men are strategically placed, contributing to a sense of organization and discipline within the unit. The soldiers are wearing dark uniforms with red trimmings and white belts, each adorned with medals and insignia that reflect their military status.

The arrangement of figures within the artwork demonstrates symmetry and formality, with a group of soldiers seated on the ground in the foreground, while others stand in the back, and some are arranged on either side of the cannon. This regimented placement, combined with the direct gaze of several soldiers toward the viewer, imparts a certain solemnity and pride onto the scene.

The backdrop is characterized by verdant trees and foliage, and the sky above the soldiers appears to be overcast, suggesting a calm, perhaps somber, mood. The use of flat, unmodulated colors and a general lack of depth are stylistic traits associated with Rousseau’s Naïve or Primitive approach, which is marked by an unschooled yet charming simplicity in the rendering of figures and nature.

Moreover, Rousseau’s technique in this work—as in others from his oeuvre—displays a distinctive disregard for classical perspective, which contributes to the painting’s unique aesthetic and places the artwork firmly within the context of Naïve Art.

Other Artwork from Henri Rousseau

More Naïve Art (Primitivism) Artwork

Scroll to Top