Thursday, July 21, 2016

French Public Take 'Sunday Painter' Henri Rousseau to Their Hearts

Brassaï, photo of Picasso in his studio at 23 rue La Boétie, standing in front of Rousseau’s Portrait of a Woman 1932 Musée Picasso © ESTATE BRASSAÏ -R.M.N.
FRANCE---He was once regarded as a bit of a joke. A self-taught "Sunday painter" who couldn't do hands and who was laughed at by other artists for his amateurish technique. But a century after he died penniless in Paris, the public has taken Henri Rousseau to their hearts. An exhibition of his greatest work has become one of the biggest hits of the decade at the Musee d'Orsay -- in spite of a sharp dip in tourist numbers in the French capital. "The Customs Man Rousseau" which closed at the weekend, had nearly 480,000 admissions, the museum said Wednesday, "one of our greatest successes of the last 10 years". Picasso bought several of his naive works and threw a wild bohemian banquet in his honour in 1908, when the hard-drinking Rousseau was 64. [link]
Rousseau - Portrait of a Woman (1895)
Henri Rousseau, known as The Douanier Rousseau (1844-1910) Le Rêve [The Dream], 1910, oil on canvas, 204.5 x 298.5 cm New York, The Museum of Modern Art, gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 252.1954 © 2016. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Scala, Florence.