Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was a self-taught French post-impressionist painter born on May 21, 1844 in Laval, France. He was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century among other great names like Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh.
Here are five interesting facts about the incredible life of Henri Rousseau:
He was a self-taught artist
Rousseau taught himself to paint in his spare time, and walked around the art museums of Paris copying out the artwork he saw.
His art was popular in Paris
Rousseau’s work was shown at the Salon des Indépendants in their annual and un-juried exhibitions back in 1886
He is famous for his jungle paintings
He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases.
He was criticized for his work
Members of Paris’ conservative artistic elite often commented that he painted like a child.
Picasso held an illustrious banquet in Rousseau’s honor
Picasso held a fabulous banquet in Rousseau’s honour at his studio at Le Bataeu-Lavoir, dubbed Le Banquet Rousseau.
Written by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Amanda Hall
Henri Rousseau wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases.
Henri Rousseau endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Michelle Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.