• The Eiffel Tower

    ‘The Eiffel Tower’, Le Journal Illustré, 5 May 1889, Benoît Lardières, Paris

At the end of the nineteenth century, Paris was the cultural centre of the world, a hub of scientific and artistic progress. The achievements of the nation were celebrated at large-scale exhibitions called ‘World’s Fairs’, held in the city in 1878, 1889 and 1900.

Rousseau was enthusiastic about technological progress and frequently depicted modern inventions such as airships, planes and the Eiffel Tower in his paintings. However, whilst other artists often focused on the way such innovations were transforming modern life, in Rousseau’s paintings these symbols of modernity blend seamlessly with the more traditional architecture and landscapes of Paris.