Henri Rousseau’s oil on canvas painting titled “The Flamingoes” was created in 1907. This Naïve Art (Primitivism) falls under the genre of wildlife painting, featuring a family of four pink flamingos on the bank, lined up in height order, holding various poses. The artwork measures 114 x 163.3 cm and is a great example of Rousseau’s interest in tropical climes stemming from illustrations he admired in children’s books and the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
It is interesting to note that Henri Rousseau captures himself in outsized scale with brush and palette before a landscape that features the Eiffel Tower and a tall-masted ship decorated with world flags. Born in Laval in 1844, Rousseau worked as a customs clerk on the outskirts of Paris and was impoverished for most of his life earning him the nickname Le Douanier. There are not many known facts specifically revolving around this artwork as it is always located within private collections.
This painting is an excellent representation of Rousseau’s love for animals and nature; from abstraction, landscape, to animal art, famous nature paintings displayed progressive ideas by various artists including Henri Rousseau–shows his wide range skills as an artist. Overall this masterpiece continues to be highly praised by art enthusiasts globally for its vibrant colors and unique portrayal of flora fauna against towering structures like The Eiffel tower which sets it apart from many of his contemporaries’ works.