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Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Le Douanier Rousseau : Jungles parisiennes

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Square Jean Perrin, 75008. Until 19 june 2006.

grand palais paris rousseau jungle exhibition exposition jungle
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) is an unclassable and atypical painter par excellence.  Belonging to no school, no major intellectual movement, it is however the natural and spontaneous fruit of its time, end of the XIXth century.  Absolute Master of a certain realistic naivety, it knew the reward only tardily. This modest employee of the customs is an absolute autodidact, guided by the only pleasure of the eye and the brush, by a wild imagination, a hunger of exoticism.  Phantasmagoric paradox, although it never left Paris, Rousseau became famous due to its portraits of African and tropical jungles. Fascinated by the Botanical garden which it attended regularly, by the "Petit Journal"newspaper which brought back the accounts of the adventurous explorers, by the World Fairs which planted in the heart of Paris colonial forwarding, it imagined its own tropics, drawn such of the decorations of opera, inhabited by mysterious, dangerous faunas and smiling at the same time, papered generous plants, flattened like Japanese papers. At the beginning, the public of the Salon des Independants took Rousseau for an illustrator amusing, simply decorative.  From 1905, its large tropical frescos draw the attention of the contemporary painters who understood the symbolic and poetic value of the artist, fruit of the shock of the new worlds.  One could almost suppose that its deer contributed at the origin of the current "fauvist".  After being presented in London, this exhibition in le Grand Palais gathers a dozen prettiest jungles of the customs artist among fifty works presented.

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