Monday, February 25, 2013

Henri Rousseau and his Tropical Imagination

I've always loved Henri Rousseau. When I saw this work for this first time in real life, I loved it even more. The canvas is so verdant and luscious. I felt like I could smell the rich soil and feel the humidity in the air. What makes him more incredible is that he created these sumptuous tropical environments and yet never left France. He had a truly great imagination.

This particular painting, Tropical Forest with Monkeys, is a favorite. The scale is so confusing and the composition is a bit off (all those large scale red leaves in the foreground!) and yet it works so beautifully. I don't even like monkeys (they scare me!) and yet I still love the strong atmosphere of this painting. I would love to smell those flowers, drink the cool water, and wave Hello to the monkeys.

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