Renoir to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris

The Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
Who was Paul Guillaume?
The Artists
Henri Rousseau: An Interactive Story
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Claude Monet
Paul Cézanne
Henri Rousseau
Henri Matisse
Amedeo Modigliani
Chaim Soutine
Marie Laurencin
Maurice Utrillo
André Derain
Pablo Picasso
National Gallery of Victoria

Henri Rousseau
called ‘Le Douanier’


Henri Rousseau - The Wedding Party

 Henri Rousseau,  called ‘Le Douanier’
 The Wedding Party, c.1905
 Oil on canvas
 163.0 x 114.0cm
 Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
 © Photo RMN - C. Jean



Rousseau served in the army before securing a position as a clerk in a Paris tollhouse in 1871. It was here he earned the semi-mocking nickname ‘Le Douanier’ (the customs officer) from the poet Alfred Jarry. A self-taught artist, he began painting regularly in 1884 and exhibited in the newly established Salon des Indépendants, but could only pursue painting full-time on his retirement in 1893. He continued working in the Naïve style he had developed early in his career, and never lost the charm of a ‘Sunday painter’ – a description he steadfastly refuted. Known as a ‘modern primitive’, his dream-like paintings foreshadowed some of the major artistic movements of the twentieth century, including Surrealism.

The animated interactive story, Henri Rousseau, offers more information about Henri Rousseau's works and his innovative style and technique.


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© copyright 2001, The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Australia