Olga's Gallery

Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau Portrait
Henri Rousseau
Birth Year
Death Year

Henri Rousseau Biography

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), nicknamed "Le Douanier" or "the customs man" after the job he worked before becoming an artist, was a Post-Impressionist painter of the late 19th Century. Although Rousseau sought to emulate academic traditions, his lack of formal training in the basics of composition and perspective gave his artwork a unique touch. The painter was a regular contributor to Paris exhibitions, but, during his lifetime, was viewed with amusement and condescension by both the public and fellow artists. Henri Julien Felix Rousseau was born on May 21st, 1844, in the town of Laval in the North of France. His parents were Julien and Eleonore Rousseau. The family was part of a long line of petty bourgeoisie and the father owned several tin-ware shops. During the early years of his life, Henri was raised in relative prosperity, which made his parents' later financial woes affect him all the harder. At the age of 5, little Henri was enrolled at the local elementary school, after completing which he entered the Laval lycee. Although the boy had demonstrated an inclination for art early on, it was not done for members of the bourgeoisie to pursue the unconventional and monetarily unrewarding vocation of painting, and there was no talk of giving the child an artistic education. Rousseau would often rue his parents' inability to recognize his talent in later years.

Henri Rousseau 73 Most Important Paintings and Artworks

Henri Rousseau Bibliography

Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris by Claire Freches, Frances Morris, Christopher Green, Nancy Ireson. Harry N. Abrams, 2006.

Henri Rousseau by Gotz Adriani. Yale University Press, 2001.

Interpreting Henri Rousseau by Nancy Ireson. Tate Publishing, 2006.