Henri Rousseau’s “The Representatives of Foreign Powers Coming to Greet the Republic as a Sign of Peace” is a notable example of naïve art, also known as primitivism. Completed in 1907, it depicts personifications of France welcoming foreign representatives in a gesture of peace. The painting measures 161 x 130 cm and can be found at the Musée Picasso in Paris.
This artwork showcases Rousseau’s interest in depicting exotic scenes that he had not directly observed himself. The imagery features figures swathed in colorful garments representing different countries who are being greeted by women who symbolize justice and equality. Each figure is variously holding musical instruments or symbolic items like olive branches, signifying peace.
In terms of technique, Rousseau utilized bold outlines and bright colors to create an image that was both simplistic and striking. While the work was initially criticized for its naivete style and lack of perspective, it has since gained recognition for its unique contribution to art history as well as its reflective commentary on international relations.