Henri Rousseau, "Exotic Landscape", 1910. Oil Henri Rousseau, A Happy Birthday May 21on Canvas

Henri Rousseau, A Happy Birthday May 21

Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter known for his creation of the Naïve or Primitive manner in which art was a completely natural expression. In his art in particular there resonates an innocence and charm that won him the admiration of the avant-garde during his lifetime. He once even commented to Pablo Picasso: “We are the two great painters of our time, you in the Egyptian style, I in the modern style."

Most widely known for his jungle scenes, although he never left France, Rousseau's jungles, tigers, and exotic vegetation sprang solely from his imagination which was inspired by books and visits to the tropical indoor gardens and conservatories of Paris. Through his imaginative power he showed an extraordinary ability to retain a freshness of vision throughout his works and a stunning attention to detail. Both of which are why we hold Rousseau dear today and celebrate him on his birthday.