Henri Rousseau (`Le Douanier’)

1844–1910

Biography

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (French: [ɑ̃ʁi ʒyljɛ̃ feliks ʁuso]; May 21, 1844 – September 2, 1910) was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a toll and tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties; by age 49, he retired from his job to work on his art full-time.

Ridiculed during his lifetime by critics, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality. Rousseau's work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists.

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Artworks

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Art Term

Naïve art

Naïve art is simple, unaffected and unsophisticated – usually specifically refers to art made by artists who have had no ...

Tate Etc

Merry Jesters Henri rousseau II

Kathleen Jamie writes a poem exclusively for Tate Etc. inspired by Rousseau's painting The Merry Jesters 1906

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Tate Etc. issue 5: Autumn 2005

Tate Etc. issue 5; Autumn 2005 online version of Tate magazine
Tate Etc

A stubborn cornerstone at the onset of modernism Henri Rousseau

Dexter Dalwood and Nancy Ireson explore the enduring influence and legacy of the self-taught French artist Henri Rousseau

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