Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (French: [ɑ̃ʁi ʒyljɛ̃ feliks ʁuso]; 21 May 1844 – 2 September 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.
Art TermNaïve art is simple, unaffected and unsophisticated – usually specifically refers to art made by artists who have had no ...
Tate EtcTate Etc. issue 5; Autumn 2005 online version of Tate magazine
Tate EtcKathleen Jamie writes a poem exclusively for Tate Etc. inspired by Rousseau's painting The Merry Jesters 1906
Tate EtcDexter Dalwood and Nancy Ireson explore the enduring influence and legacy of the self-taught French artist Henri Rousseau