Henri Julien Rousseau (Le douanier) died on September 2nd
Apes in the orange grove
Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was born in Laval in the Loire Valley, in France. He started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work exclusively of his art.
His best known paintings depict jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. His inspiration came from illustrated books and the botanical gardens in Paris, as well as tableaux of “taxidermified” wild animals.
He also met soldiers, who had survived the French expedition to Mexico and listened to their stories about of the subtropical country.
Rousseau's flat, seemingly childish style earned him many critics; people often were shocked by his work and ridiculed him. But it seems he remained unaware (or maybe he did'nt care) that established artists considered him untutored.
Henri Rousseau died of gangrene on September 2nd 1910 in Necker Hospital in Paris.
Henri Julien Félix Rousseau dit
"Le douanier Rousseau"
Careful! Henri Julien Félix (le douanier) Rousseau should not be confused with Henri Emilien Rousseau ─ born in Cairo in 1875 and died in Aix-en-Provence in 1933 ─ who was an Orientalist painter, whose works (see below) are signed Henri Rousseau just like the pantings of its namesake the «douanier».