The chair factory at Alfortville (c.1897) by Henri Rousseau

The chair factory at Alfortville - Henri Rousseau - c.1897

Artwork Information

TitleThe chair factory at Alfortville
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Dimensions46 x 38 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationMusée de l'Orangerie, Paris, France

About The chair factory at Alfortville

The artwork titled “The chair factory at Alfortville” is an oil painting on canvas by the artist Henri Rousseau, dated around 1897. This piece is a fine example of the Naïve Art movement, also related to Primitivism. The painting, with dimensions of 46 by 38 centimeters, represents the genre of cityscape and is currently housed at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, France.

The artwork portrays an industrial scene set in Alfortville with a clear sky filled with cumulus clouds above. In the foreground, a curved dirt road runs alongside a water canal, upon which a lone figure is fishing. The central focus of the painting is a building adorned with the sign “CHESNOY & CIE” and “FABRIQUE DE CHAISES,” indicating it is a chair factory. The building’s architecture is modest and functional with a contrasting red and white façade. To the left, smaller structures and industrial chimneys can be observed, suggesting a broader industrial setting.

Rousseau’s characteristic style is evident through the meticulous detailing, flat areas of color, and linear perspective that does not adhere to the naturalistic proportions often seen in academic painting. There is a sense of simplicity and stillness in the composition, conveying the quiet routine of everyday work life in Alfortville during the late 19th century. Overall, the artwork provides a glimpse into the industrial landscape of the period, rendered with a unique personal touch that sets apart Rousseau’s naive approach to painting from his contemporaries.

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