the Mill at Alfor (1904 – 1905) by Henri Rousseau

the Mill at Alfor - Henri Rousseau - 1904 - 1905

Artwork Information

Titlethe Mill at Alfor
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Date1904 - 1905
Dimensions37.8 x 45.5 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About the Mill at Alfor

The artwork titled “The Mill at Alfor” is a landscape painting created by Henri Rousseau between 1904 and 1905. As a piece that exemplifies the Naïve Art (Primitivism) movement, it employs oil on canvas as its medium. The painting measures 37.8 x 45.5 cm and depicts a tranquil rural scene. Currently, “The Mill at Alfor” belongs to a private collection.

In “The Mill at Alfor,” Rousseau portrays a serene countryside milieu with a distinct sense of tranquility and stillness. The composition is centered around a mill, prominently inscribed with the words “MOULIN DALFORT,” indicating its identity. In the foreground, a gentle river flows across the scene, flanked by various small structures that appear to be floating or along the water’s edge, potentially sheds or boathouses. A single rowboat with a figure inside provides a subtle hint of human presence, emphasizing the peacefulness of the surroundings.

The backdrop consists of a lush tree line that partially obscures the sky, while the overcast clouds suggest an overhanging sense of calmness or perhaps an impending change in weather. The palette is primarily made up of muted greens, browns, and grays, which further contributes to the pastoral and unassuming atmosphere of the piece. Rousseau’s characteristic flatness of form and lack of conventional perspective imbue the landscape with a dreamlike or otherworldly quality, typical of his self-taught approach to painting. The houses and vegetation are rendered in simple shapes with minimal detail, reflecting the artist’s intuitive relationship with his subject matter and his removal from the formal academic training of his contemporaries.

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