Tropical Forest with Apes and Snake (1910) by Henri Rousseau

Tropical Forest with Apes and Snake - Henri Rousseau - 1910

Artwork Information

TitleTropical Forest with Apes and Snake
ArtistHenri Rousseau
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About Tropical Forest with Apes and Snake

The artwork “Tropical Forest with Apes and Snake” is a notable oil on canvas painting by Henri Rousseau, created in the year 1910. It exemplifies the Naïve Art movement, specifically Primitivism, and falls within the wildlife painting genre. This captivating piece is housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, United States.

The artwork presents a lush, dense jungle scene teeming with life and an air of tranquil mystery. A variety of foliage, characterized by its vivid coloration and detailed textures, fills the composition, creating a sense of depth and impenetrability typical of a tropical forest. Several apes are scattered throughout the scene, each engaged in distinct behavior, contributing to the narrative of wildlife in their natural habitat. The flora includes broad, flat leaves and intricate ferns, as well as a smattering of large, white flowers that stand out prominently against the verdant backdrop.

At the forefront, a snake is subtly woven into the scenery, so seamlessly integrated that it may take a moment for the viewer to notice. The reptile’s presence, while not immediately commanding, adds an element of danger and the unpredictable nature of the wild. Rousseau’s style is marked by a dream-like clarity and a flat, almost two-dimensional portrayal of subjects, which gives a sense of both harmony and naïveté in his depiction of the tropical environment. The atmosphere of the artwork encapsulates a tranquil yet alive segment of nature, untouched by human influence, and captured through the artist’s imaginative vision.

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