Henri Rousseau

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Date of Birth May 21, 1844
Place of Birth Laval, France
Date of Death Sep 2, 1910 (66)
Horoscope Gemini

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Henri Rousseau

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier, a humorous description of his occupation as a toll and tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties; by age 49, he retired from his job to work on his art full-time. Ridiculed during his lifetime by critics, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality. Rousseau's work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists.

Born: Henri Julien Félix Rousseau, May 21, 1844, Laval, Mayenne, France
Died: September 2, 1910, Paris, France
Nationality: French
Education: Self-taught
Known for: Painting
Notable work: The Sleeping Gypsy, Tiger in a Tropical Storm, The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope, Boy on the Rocks
Movement: Post-Impressionism, Naïve art, Primitivism

About Henri Rousseau

Post-Impressionist painter known for his lush, exotic jungle scenes. Known for his embrace of the Naïve or Primitive styles. His final painting was "The Dream" from 1910.

Before Fame

He worked as a lawyer before devoting himself to his artistic career. He was also a toll collector. He would not be recognized as a self-taught innovator until late in life.


His painting, "The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope," inspired artists such as Henri Matisse.

Family Life

He married Clemence Boitard; together, they had six children. After his first wife's death, he married Josephine Noury.


He was referenced in Joni Mitchell's song, "The Jungle Line," from her album, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns," released in 1975.

Information related to Henri Rousseau

  • Burials at the Cimetière de Bagneux
  • Naïve painters
  • Post-impressionist painters
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Latest information about Henri Rousseau updated on October 28, 2020.

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