This video covers 10 really amazing facts about the French naïve painter Henri Rousseau. It is aimed at young people and adults interested in art history. Focusing on his jungle paintings, this art video could be a great introduction to an art lesson on mixing different tones of a single colour, e.g. green.
Henri Rousseau was born in Laval in France and worked for a solicitor when he left school. He joined the army in 1863. Henri Rousseau once claimed to have served in Mexico where he got inspiration for his jungle paintings. There is no evidence from army records that he left France. He left the army in 1868, moved to Paris and married Clemence Boitard before working as a tax collector on gates of Paris. Rousseau claimed he didn’t start painting until 1886 when 42 but evidence shows he was copying paintings in the Louvre 2 years earlier. He was totally self-taught.
1885 saw Henri Rousseau exhibit his first pictures at the Salon des Refuses. His paintings had technical problems but have a naïve charm about them. His ‘Surprised’, ‘Old Junior’s Cart’ and ‘Scout attacked by a Tiger’ are amongst his most important works. In 1908 Picasso presented him with a cardboard medal in his studio at the Bateau Lavoir in Paris. Henri Roussea died a pauper in 1910 and was buried in a pauper’s grave. 7 people attend his funeral. He was reburied in 1912 and again, finally in Laval in 1947.
Music: Gymnopedie No 2 by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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