The Flamingoes (1907) by Henri Rousseau

The Flamingoes - Henri Rousseau - 1907

Artwork Information

TitleThe Flamingoes
ArtistHenri Rousseau
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions114 x 163.3 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Flamingoes

“The Flamingoes” is a notable work by Henri Rousseau, completed in 1907. This oil on canvas reflects the Naïve Art movement, specifically Primitivism, and measures 114 by 163.3 cm. As a wildlife painting, the piece is part of a private collection; its genre highlights natural themes and animal subjects, expressing them through a primitive or unschooled style that is characteristic of Rousseau’s approach.

The artwork depicts a serene and somewhat stylized tropical scene. In the foreground, a group of pink flamingoes stands gracefully on the sandy shore of a tranquil body of water. Their delicate features contrast strikingly with the geometric and darker tones of the tropical vegetation. Dominating the midground are luscious water lilies floating gently on the surface of the water, blooming in shades of white, yellow, and pink, adding a vibrant splash of color to the otherwise subdued landscape.

Rising above in the background are tall, palm-like trees with intricately patterned leaves that create a dense canopy, framing the scene and lending a sense of lushness to the composition. The foliage’s detailed textures showcase Rousseau’s unique approach to capturing the complexity of nature with simple, yet deliberate brushstrokes. A sandbar stretches across the water, where two figures can be observed participating in indistinct activities, possibly suggesting a narrative element or the presence of human life within this idyllic setting.

Overall, the painting exudes a calm and exotic atmosphere, reflecting Rousseau’s imaginative take on the natural world, despite his never having left France. His technique and use of color give “The Flamingoes” the quality of a dreamlike tableau, inviting the viewer to immerse in an enchanting and harmonious vision of wildlife.

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