The Mill (c.1896) by Henri Rousseau

The Mill - Henri Rousseau - c.1896

Artwork Information

TitleThe Mill
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Mill

“The Mill,” a work by Henri Rousseau created circa 1896, is an exemplary piece of the Naïve Art movement, specifically reflecting the Primitivism aspect. This artwork is an oil on canvas cityscape rendering, which, during the time of this writing, is held in a private collection. The painting is a testament to Rousseau’s unique self-taught style that exudes a dreamlike simplicity and charm, diverging from the technical rigor of contemporary academic art.

The artwork depicts a serene and rustic setting with a prominent structure which appears to be a mill, situated beside a body of water. The mill, characterized by its white walls and red roof, is connected to an elevated wooden bridge leading to the water wheel partially visible beneath the building. To the right of the mill, a stone bridge with two arches crosses over calm waters, while a solitary figure is discernible in the lower left corner of the artwork, appearing to be engaging in fishing.

The background of the artwork is adorned with a dense collection of trees displaying lush green foliage that contrasts with the blue sky filled with a scattering of clouds. On the horizon, a small cluster of white houses can be seen, adding to the pastoral charm of the scene. In the foreground, two trees stand to the right, providing balance to the composition and emphasizing the sense of tranquility that permeates the painting. Overall, Rousseau’s use of vivid colors and simple forms captures an idyllic, almost storybook-like representation of rural life, resonating with the core principles of the Primitivism art movement.

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