Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) automatic translate
Like many geniuses who outstripped their era, Henri Rousseau did not know during his lifetime, neither fame nor wealth. A talented artist who worked until 41 years as an ordinary clerk in the customs department of Paris, found the willpower to abandon the habitual way of life and devote himself entirely to painting. The only thing that supported Rousseau in his hobby was an unshakable faith in his own talent, which enabled him to become one of the greatest masters of his era. Surprisingly, the desire to imitate the technique of the past has moved the artist right into the future - his creative manner will become very characteristic of many masters of the 20th century. «Naive» art Rousseau, stepping in step with Impressionism, soon separated into a completely different school. The original style of the painter, full of elements of phantasmagoria, was admired by Pablo Picasso and Robert Delaunay, giving to Rousseau during his lifetime only minimal means of subsistence.
Starting his career as an artist at the age of forty-one, Henri Rousseau was self-taught. Arriving from the provinces in Paris and settling in as a petty official, Rousseau painted everywhere: during duty at work, taking advantage of the favor of his superiors, and at night at home. Poor, but patient, modest, but confident in his genius, he became one of the leading and most recognized masters of the artistic avant-garde, which was admired by progressive contemporaries and generations of descendants.
Once Rousseau himself wrote an autobiographical reference for the book «Portraits of the Next Century» - «Born in Laval in 1844 in a family with desperately modest incomes, he was forced initially to devote himself not to the craft that attracted his love of art.» True, the book never came out.
The father of the self-taught artist was Julien Rousseau, a hereditary tinsmith from the town in the west of France - Laval. And the mother is the daughter of an officer of Napoleon’s Great Army. Father Henry desperately wanted to get rich, therefore, having bought a house on the outskirts of the city, he leaves his craft as a tinsmith and tries to settle the matter of reselling various goods. But, alas, his cause is fading, and since then, desperate poverty has settled in Rousseau’s house.
Fortunately, despite the extreme need, the family of the future artist was able to send her only son to first go to school, and then to the Lyceum. Henri was an average pupil, although he managed to get a number of school awards, excelling in singing and arithmetic. These seemingly insignificant achievements are widely celebrated in his biography, not because Rousseau became world-famous artists, but because he also wrote an amazing waltz, named after the first wife - Clemence.
After training, Henri takes a job at the law office, where he makes a big mistake. At nineteen, incited by his friends, Rousseau steals from the accounting office of the bureau a very small amount of money, but this is enough to put an end to his lawyer career and get under investigation. In court, Henry has to agree to a deal - seven whole years of service in the army, for being in prison for only one year.
Regiment Rousseau, stationed in France, will never take part in military operations abroad. Even when Napoleon III sends a French military corps to Mexico, in order to support his protege Maximilian in the struggle for the throne of the throne, the future avant-gardist does not take part in the expedition. Although, much later, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) wrote a poem about Rousseau’s stay in the colorful Aztec Country, the artist never tries to refute it, like a number of other myths about his life.
In 1868, Rousseau’s father dies, and Henri, as the sole breadwinner of the family, gets fired from the army. After leaving his regiment, then stationed in Paris, he plunged headlong into the busy life of the big city. First of all, the young man finds work and takes a living, located near Le Bon Marche - the first multi-storey shopping center in the French capital.
The young man immediately falls in love with the daughter of the mistress of the house, Ms Buatar. In 1869, he took Clemence Buatar as his wife. Despite the constant weakness (Clemence was ill with tuberculosis), the wife helps Henri to earn money for life, tirelessly doing sewing to order. On weekends, lovers often walk in beautiful Parisian parks. True, the happiness of Henri and Clemence is overshadowed by the fact that their children die one by one right in infancy.
Of the seven children of loving spouses, only two survive: daughter Julie-Clemence and son Henri-Anatole. Rousseau’s wife, constantly tormented by tuberculosis, was too weak to take care of herself, so they were brought up from her nanny, who lived in the suburbs of Paris, from birth. In 1888 Clemence died. Henri Rousseau will never forget his adored wife. Even during her lifetime, he will devote her a waltz of her own composition, and after her death she will again and again create her portraits.
Fine official living art
In 1871, young Rousseau was assigned to a permanent job at the Customs office of the Excise Department, which was engaged in the collection of taxes on goods imported into Paris in the 19th century. Inspection of goods at the city gate is a boring and monotonous occupation, but it does not in any way limit the internal freedom of the person who executes it.
During one of the regular duties, a small clerk sets an easel right in the courtyard of the department building, and begins drawing. Unfortunately, the paintings written by Rousseau before 1877, were not preserved. The exception is only one, depicting the battle scene against the backdrop of the local landscape.
Soon, the famous artist Felix Clement (1826 - 1888), who helped the young Rousseau with the Soviets, acquainted the novice painter with one of the representatives of the official French art of that era, Baron Leon Jerome. After this, Russo rents his first workshop and in 1885, supported by the baron, for the first time exhibits two of his works in the Salon of the Les Miserables.
A year later, in 1886, the artist Paul Signac (1863 - 1935), interested in the work of Henri Rousseau, invited him to participate in the new exhibition. Signac believed that the best place for the work of such an original painter was in the Salon of Independent Artists, created by representatives of the artistic avant-garde. The fact is that all the early attempts to create independent showrooms ended in failure - they, as if by magic, began to resemble the official Salon, which did not suit progressive artists, who felt an increasing need to be exhibited separately.
For Rousseau it was obvious that the official artistic circles in the face of the Salon, with its old academic tradition, would forever reject the self-taught, at least from the principle. Therefore, from that time until the very end, Henri Rousseau will remain faithful to the new «salon without a jury.»
Already in 1886, having exhibited four of his works in an independent showroom, the beginning artist will receive high praise from such well-known painters as Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and Puvi de Chavanne (1824 - 1898), who admired Rousseau’s ability to transmit dramatic moments with the help of set of shades of black color. But, in general, his works remain not understood by the public, even more - they are subjected to mockery - academics claimed that even a child is able to paint like that.
Fortunately, Rousseau was very resistant to sarcasm and criticism of the public. He even enters into an agreement with the firm «Argus», according to which, he was sent all the journal articles and newspaper clippings, which contained reviews and feedback on his work. In anticipation of the universal recognition of his undisputed talent, the artist pedantically pasted them into a notebook, which eventually became thicker. It is from the newspapers that Rousseau once learns that the mayor’s office of Paris awarded him a medal. Happy, he immediately orders to mention the award on his business card, but later it turns out that he hurried: it was a question of another artist with the same name.
Concerned after the death of his wife in search of funds for the normal maintenance of children and the purchase of paints, Rousseau, hoping to earn some money and being impressed by the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889, where France presented her famous Eiffel Tower, the artist again turns to music, and writes a libretto for vaudeville. Unfortunately, it did not bring Henri a penny.
After retiring from service in 1893, on the length of service, Rousseau receives a scanty pension and can only dream about the time when his favorite occupation is painting, and finally he will bring in a decent income. In the meantime, Rousseau is forced to give lessons in violin and draw pictures to order, selling them at ridiculous prices. Although, only a year later, his work «War», exhibited at the Salon of Independent, receives a wide response, in particular, she admires the writer Alfred Jari (1873 - 1907), with whose light hand, the artist Henri Rousseau receives the nickname «Customs Officer» (Le Douanier), entrenched for him for life.
Soon the entire Rousseau family moved, who to where. In 1895, the artist’s daughter leaves with her husband to Angers, located in the west of France, and the painter moves with his son Henri-Anatole to live in Montparnasse, the famous district on the left bank of the Seine, which later became a favorite meeting place for the artistic and intellectual avant-garde. There, in Montparnasse, Rousseau meets Josephine Le Tensorer - a woman who lived next door, conquered the heart of the artist. For a long time, Josephine neglected the artist’s love confessions and agreed to become his wife only after the premature death of Henri-Anatole.
Being an freedom-loving Freemason, Henri Rousseau still wins in the church with his new love in 1898. The financial situation of the family was quite deplorable, so Josephine, to help her husband, tried to sell his work in his office store, and the artist, in turn, continued to give paid lessons. Nevertheless, on Sundays, Rousseau, despite his need, within the framework of the activities of the Philotechnical Society, whose main goal was the enlightenment of the masses, taught everyone who wanted to write with watercolor and pastel absolutely free of charge, and shared with pride and pleasure the experience of porcelain painting and ceramics.
The Beggar Genius
Just five years later, in 1903, the painter becomes a widower for the second time, and, trying to cope with grief, completely gives himself to work. I must say, his career as an artist, has finally started to gain momentum. In 1903 he again participates in two art salons - Independent artists (in March) and in the first Autumn Salon, which opened in October. But the painter is still in dire need. Fortunately, the modest but generous family of Papuan, who lived in the neighborhood, often invite him to his dinner, and a friend of Marie Bish, engaged in petty trade, more than once rescues Rousseau in critical financial situations.
The turning point is only in 1906, when the artist meets Robert Delone (1885 - 1941) and poet Guillaume Apollinaire. New friends openly admire the talent of the painter, and Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973), accidentally acquiring in 1908 «Portrait of a Woman» by Henri Rousseau, organizes a magnificent banquet in honor of the author.
One of Picasso’s friends is Fernanda Olivier, as Rousseau describes it: «This respectable, slightly hunched man, who rather jogs than walks, his hair is gray, but thick, despite his age, possesses the habits of a small rentier, and his face is slightly frightened, but kind. He blushed easily when he was uncomfortable or when someone objected to him. He agreed with everything that was said to him, but he felt that he was holding himself aloof and simply did not dare to express his thoughts. «
Among Rousseau’s friends was Alfred Jari (1873 - 1907), the artist met him at a time when the work of the latter - «King Ubu» (1896), which made him the famous founder of the theater of the absurd, has not yet been written. Perhaps, it is the passion for shocking and provocations that brings Rousseau and Jary closer. According to the young writer, the naive art of the Customs officer, frank and uncompromising, shock the layman. Once Zhari ordered a painter his portrait. The picture, unfortunately, has not reached our days, but it is known that Rousseau portrayed his friend with a chameleon and an owl. The fry was in ecstasy! He pays with Rousseau money from the parental inheritance and praises his talent everywhere. The artist greatly valued this friendship. It was he who extended a helping hand and sheltered the young eccentric when he was lucky in 1897, and Zhari, without a penny in his pocket, was on the street.
Henri Rousseau had a pure childish voice, everyone considered him naive and simple, but was it really so? Unshakable confidence in their own genius allowed the painter to become a motivated person, possessing extraordinary resilience, and almost childlike naivety - a very original artist.
In December 1907, Rousseau, because of his carelessness and gullibility, again falls into prison for fraud, although, in fact, he was the victim himself. In order to obtain freedom, at least in order to give charity lessons on Sundays, the artist writes to the Court asking: «Turning to your kindness, I ask at least conditional release to be able to continue working. I very much ask you not to destroy my career, for which I worked so much. « Fortunately, Rousseau’s request was granted after the Christmas holidays.
According to the testimony of contemporaries, Rousseau usually worked in a plain linen white shirt, but he always wears a suit when he organized receptions in his workshop. German collector Wilhelm Ugde, the first to devote an entire book to the artist in 1911, was one of the regulars of parties at the Customs Officer. Here is how he described the street where Rousseau’s house was located: «It is only a few steps long, and then rests against a stone wall. It seems that we are somewhere in the province and not in Paris. In the rooms on the first floor the owner lives with his family, and above are the apartments of the guests. On one of the doors there is a sign - «Lessons of rhetoric, music, drawing, solfeggio». We ring and enter: Rousseau meets us. «
Almost every Saturday evening, among his paintings and friends, the Customs officer plays the violin for artists, collectors and just art lovers. He is in love again, but Leonia, a 59-year-old widow, refuses to become his wife. At these evenings one could often meet the owner of the house where Rousseau lived - Mr. Keval, a quiet respectable man who was Rousseau’s colleague at work in the customs department of Paris. Among the guests you could often see Ambroise Vollard, who bought paintings of the artist and repeatedly invited him with him, to artistic parties. Henri Rousseau was on the emotional rise: finally it’s time to taste the fruits of years of hard work - a stable financial position, universal recognition. That’s just health... Painter has long been concerned with non-healing wounds on his legs, which, after all, caused gangrene.
An artist of genius, Henri Rousseau died on September 2, 1910 in the municipal hospital in Paris, Necker. He was buried in a common grave. To conduct the artist in the last way came Robert Delone, Ambroise Vollard and Paul Signac.
Delaunay a year later organizes at his own expense the reburial of the remains of the artist. And Guillaume Apollinaire will write on his tombstone the epitaph he composed: «We say goodbye to you, our good friend Rousseau! Hear us - Delone with his wife, Keval and me. We bring you a gift of brushes, paints, canvas, so that at holy leisure you write portraits of stars. «
Peering into the first paintings of Henri Rousseau, one of the critics will exclaim: «He is sincere and naive, somewhat reminiscent of primitivists.» The second critic agrees: «This painting is rather dry and tough, but very interesting, because its naivete suggests the Italian primitivists.» Even scoffers and ardent opponents of Rousseau’s original creativity recognized the master as an outstanding primitivist.
Although, the canvas «Walk through the forest» and «Meeting in the forest», the painter is still closer to the national painting of the Rococo era of the XVIII century, rather than to the Italian primitivists. This is largely due to the clearly visible traditional motif of gallant scenes (fetes galantes), very characteristic of the work of the French artist Antoine Watteau (1684 - 1721), whose paintings were exhibited in the Louvre. By the way, it was their reproductions that adorned the walls of Rousseau’s studio.
The works of the early period of Rousseau very much distinguished him from his contemporaries - the Impressionists. This is clearly seen in the subtle color scheme of the paintings «Meeting in the Forest» and «Walking through the Woods», on which the painter depicts real and imaginary trees with the help of a large number of different shades of brown and green.
In the first picture the forest is dense and impenetrable, on the second - light and transparent. All the distant plans are made vague, small strokes, which facilitates visual perception, neutralizing too much saturated dark forest. Ranked third picture sky, deliberately reduced the trees in the distance - all this speaks of an attempt of the artist - self-taught in some way to define the boundaries of the space, giving it a depth, that is - to show the prospect that for Rousseau, devoid of academic knowledge and skills, it was a real stumbling block. Perhaps this is why, after he deliberately abandoned any perspective in their paintings.
The painting «Meeting in the Forest» depicts lovers, riding a horse and looking at each other. They are dressed in the typical costumes of the XVIII century. Long hair woman freely dissolved over her shoulders - a motif that is present in many female images Rousseau brush. The strength of the feelings, the mutual embrace, tenderness in his eyes men create a distinct sense of presence on the canvas of the pair, despite the fact that their bodies are almost invisible for the lush vegetation. Living alone in their own world of love, only for a short time appeared from the forest, and, it seems, is about to back out of sight forever.
On the canvas «A walk in the woods,» we see a woman who is very much like Clemence, as though she stopped - perhaps afraid of drifting echoes cavalcade, anxiety or a sudden rustle of leaves crunching branches.
Women’s images as well as images of the animals held in the artist’s work is a great place. Two great female portraits painted by Rousseau with a small gap, are very similar composition. Both women are depicted in black, standing at full height. The format works and pose characters allow us to attribute the painting to the genre of formal portraits. Perhaps they were both made to order, although the individual models have remained unknown.
The first painting - «Portrait of a Woman» (an alternate name for «Portrait of Madame M.») was created around 1895. It acquired this painting at a very modest price in 1908, another great artist - Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973), who is very enthusiastic about it. This work is also known as «Jadwiga», although no evidence of compliance with the model name is not present.
There is a legend that the girl on the canvas was a beautiful Polish woman who charmed painter. Although this version has not been confirmed, the fact remains that Rousseau liked the name. He called it the main character of the play of his own - «Revenge of Russian orphans.» Perhaps that is embodied for the artist a certain image of the ideal woman. The same name, the master call and another character of his paintings - «Dream» (1910).
first portrait of a composition reminiscent of production photos from the photo shop at the time. The female figure stands on the balcony cluttered flower vases on the background of the massive curtains, it is surrounded by a fantastic landscape. In the hands of Jadwiga - a branch of the tree. This detail is of particular interest because it is a traditional symbol of death. This can be explained, according to proponents of the theory of the real existence of this woman, claiming that Jadwiga was already dead at the time of writing the web. This assumption is indirectly confirmed by the fact that women dress the artist chose the black color, which has always stressed the special character of the dramatic scene portrayed.
The woman on the second portrait is depicted among the thrilling imagination various greens. Her hand rests on his thigh, and peeking out from under his feet dresses, barely touching the ground, which creates the illusion of movement. At the bottom we see the paintings play with a ball of yarn kitten that add liveliness and spontaneity in the formal tone of the portrait.
His famous work «The Sleeping Gypsy», also dedicated to the female form, Rousseau ends just a month after the death of his only son, Henri Anatole.
In 1897, he exhibited works at the Salon des Independants, accompanied by her descriptions written on the frame of «Predator, possessed by bloodlust, stands still, not daring to attack the fast asleep exhausted sacrifice.» Figure gypsy with her handkerchief and colorful clothing, sharply contrasting with the dark color of her face, a bit like the Oriental women with paintings of academic artists. That is the work of Rousseau actively offered to buy Mary his hometown of Laval, in remembrance of Me.
The artist even had written to the mayor of the city: «Here everything is bathed in the moonlight.» Of course, the mayor’s office rejected his offer. The product disappears and re-discovered only in 1923 and, since not all the paintings of Rousseau were widely known, it causes a lot of disputes and misunderstandings. Quite a few consider it a fake, a joke, which was attributed to another artist - Derain. Those who did not doubt the true authorship of the painting, considered it as a very decisive step painter from realism to surrealism.
Soon, Rousseau departs from the Impressionists, although still share their hostility to the traditional canons of art. Impressionism assumed creative freedom, which was so necessary Rousseau. His art, which is based on a completely flat treatment of all forms, not only takes into account the standard adopted in the era of the right image of the Renaissance perspective, but also deliberately ignore them. The artist simplifies forms, creating their own unique style of painting. Real proportions are distorted, color study volume is absent, and there is no shade at all. Rousseau did not want to portray a boring and mundane reality by passing through his imagination all shapes and forms.
artist Art is strongly reminiscent of decorative painted pictures with multi-colored figurines smooth texture and unpretentious form. His painting «Child with a puppet,» produces a strange impression, making you shudder. Master first refers to the contours of the child figure, resembling a porcelain doll, leaving it itself unregistered, and then working on the background picture, and again returned to the figure. Rousseau, like Emile Bernard (1868 - 1941) and Paul Gauguin, completely ignores the principles of classical perspective. In addition, the artist gives a clear preference for the content of conditionality, and not boring specifics.
Brushes Rousseau belong to many children’s portraits. It is not known why the topic of children was so important to the artist, roofing felts it was working to order, or omitted because the artist experienced the loss of their own six children. The exact answer to this question is unknown, we can only assume that, depicting children, the painter was trying to using paints, brushes and imagination back images of their loved ones back to life. Many children’s portraits Rousseau made in large format.
For example, a child in a red dress looks so large that there is a feeling as if his figure barely fit on the canvas area. Apparently, the child sits: talking about it bent at the knees and almost hidden in the grass with their feet. Figure itself seemed suspended between heaven and earth, that feeling quietly smooths excessive massiveness. Like «A child with a puppet,» the kid in this picture, too, holding a strange doll resembling adult features.
In another picture of the same period - «Peasant Wedding», we see a bride who looks at us with a humble reverence. Figures of people around her are so flat that they seem as if they were individually cut from colored paper and glued to the landscape background. Even though carefully constructed letter «V» trees and some clumsy dog, which sits in the foreground, which in theory should have been designated compositional perspective, collage impression produced by this picture they could not erase.
The figure of the bride is the undisputed dominant pattern, it is his crisp white belt if binds the other characters in a single group. On the canvas the artist symbolically marked by the continuity of generations, with a long veil bride lightly cover up sitting next to an elderly woman, which is, obviously, the grandmother of the bride or groom. The figure seated separately from the main group of characters the old man, whose feet are hidden in the grass, conjures up thoughts of the relationship between modernity and eternity, life and death, heaven and earth. The solemnity with which the whole group is located under the trees, again reminiscent of a shop of the XIX century. It is in such static poses in front of camera lenses froze people on the background of painted flat scenery, «Do not move! Do not breathe! «. It is possible that, while working on «The Wedding», the painter found inspiration in some photos, but the reasons for his appeal to the topic, as well as about the character’s personality prototypes, nothing is known. Although the man standing to the right of the bride, something vaguely reminiscent of the artist.
In 1906, Anri Russo presents to the public his new work - «Freedom, calling for artists to participate in the 22 th Exhibition of Independent Artists», which, even being in the exposition of the Salon of Independent, makes visitors only fits of laughter. Only a close circle of friends admires the new work of the artist, the others can not understand either the intention or the methods of its implementation.
A friend of the painter - Hubert Robert Delaunay exclaim: «In another age he would have painted the walls of palaces commissioned by patrons. Our is forced to be a clown for the townsfolk, he - so serious, so calm. What a pointless irony! «. His new work celebrates Rousseau Salon, to make him a full-fledged artist in every sense of the word. The compositional center of the work - an allegorical figure of Liberty, depicted in a manner reminiscent of an academic. She plays the trumpet, which is traditionally a symbol of praise.
A year later, Rousseau again amuse spectators in the Salon des Independants his work «The foreign representatives came under the banner of peace salute the Republic.» On the canvas we find standing on the platform of the six Presidents of the French Republic (dressed in black), the Russian Emperor (in yellow - blue uniform), king of England (left side) and right: Frantsa Iosifa of Austria, Peter I of Serbia, William II of Germany, Leopold II of Belgium, George I of Greece, the Shah of Persia and the king of Ethiopia. Republic, in red robes and a Phrygian cap (headgear era of the French Revolution of 1789) solemnly rises above all, holding in his outstretched hand an olive branch. This multi-colored extravaganza, colored with foreign flags, held under the slogan written on the three pillars of black, standing in the foreground of the panel: «Work, freedom, equality.» And in the background we see people going in a circle to start a festive dance.
The artist was very fond of allegory, so popular among the political circles. Rousseau repeatedly participated in various contests from time to time arrange Parisian authorities for the purpose of registration of premises of various departments. Painter always wanted to get an official order, well-paid and prestigious, because, firstly, it is constantly in need of money, and secondly, still dreamed of a universal recognition.
However, the Customs officer did not manage to win either one or the other. In addition, all the time there were people who used the weakness of the artist and the inherent naivety to repeatedly play the poor Rousseau. It came even to the point that the artist almost did not go to the Elysee Palace to personally thank the President of the French Republic for the awarding of its main state award - the Order of the Legion of Honor, the award of which is reported to the artist evil jokers.
One day, the mother of the artist Robera Delone, yielding to the entreaties of his son, decided to order a Rousseau painting. Her stories about an exotic trip to India inspired the creation of a customs officer cloth soaked in rich shades of green, typical of the tropical jungle. In the center of the picture we see the figure of a black-haired woman - snake charmer, which is very similar to the ancient mystical deity. Black snake, though spellbound magic sounds of its pipes, slowly crawling out from everywhere, and if at first glance they are barely distinguishable, when the eyes get used to the motley variety and begins to distinguish details, see them more and more. Amazingly, their movements on the web felt almost physically. Mystic shade canvas added to the eye of a female figure, is the only bright spot in the picture, their huge magnetic force strikes.
Illuminated by a full moon river, dense and mysterious veil of plants, shimmering with all shades of green, pink exotic bird, bright shining yellow flowers - the whole scene exudes incredible paradise peace and tranquility. The vertical lines and shapes around her plants relaxed horizontal rays of light coming from the month. This distinguishes the song «Enchantress» Rousseau from his «War», where the horizontal construction of the entire fabric creates the effect of decay and symbolizes the destruction and annihilation.
Work «unpleasant surprise» something close to a «snake charmer». In this picture we see a woman, frightened bear. The figure of the woman again resembles a mythical goddess, or the Old Testament Eve lost in the Garden of Eden. Her round hips slightly covered flowing knee-length hair. As in «Enchantress», a woman surrounded by the same whimsical trees with bright foliage, and in the background - on the shores of the magical lake, depict lush forests of whimsical trees. And in the depths of barely noticeable figure crouching hunter. When you see her, my heart becomes calm - he must shoot and save a woman from a predator.
Contemporaries will record the statement of one Italian critic dedicated to Rousseau: «He lives in a strange world, a fantastic and real at the same time, close and distant, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic. He loves a riot of colors, fruits and flowers, wild animals and fabulous birds. He lives, working like crazy, focused and patient, greeted with jeers and shouts surly whenever decides to break his solitude, to present to the world his creation. «
Portrait of a friend
The hero of the painting «The chaise father Zhyuneta» (1908) - a real character - vegetable seller, a former friend of Rousseau (though his real name was Claude Zhyuner). His shop in Montparnasse, located just a few meters from the studio of the painter. Zhuner always helped artists who often do not have enough money on products. Sometimes Zhuner together with your buddies pick up Rousseau ride on his chaise, he served for the transport of goods. He is pulling the cart pitomitsy Zhunera - mare Rosa. Vegetable seller had a great weakness for horses and dogs, one of which is shown in the picture next to the chaise.
When you create a canvas, the artist used a photograph taken in Clamart in 1908. Rousseau moved to the canvas photo composition, adding to her dog on the road and a few figures. While working on a painting of the painter, his studio visited the American painter Maks Veber (1881- 1961). Examines the work of Weber drew his attention to the disproportion between the size of dogs and other subjects and characters. Russo said, «Everything should remain as it is.»
Perhaps the artist and rights, relying only on their own vision, because when you look at this for a long time work, start to think that it is this, it is absolutely disproportionate, and therefore some mysterious dog and gives the picture a shade fabulousness. It changed the proportions and perspective broken, heavily supplemented by elements of phantasmagoria, give everyday scenes Rousseau this appeal and an element of mystery.
In the cart sitting five people and a dog. All of them are depicted facing the viewer, as if arrayed in a line, like a group with paintings «Peasant Wedding», but under the clear angle in relation to the seat of the chaise, and the direction of the road. The web has an impressive size, very typical of the works of decorative art, and it is, according to critics, making it similar to the «tapestries thousands of colors» - which were popular in the XV century, magnificent carpets, which were woven colorful ornaments bizarre plants.
In the first painting, the artist uses a totally smooth canvas, whereby smears obtained virtually invisible. All coloring picture clearly divided into two scales: black, white and red in the foreground, and ocher, green and blue - on the «back side».
Less known, but no less important part of the creative heritage of Rousseau are urban landscapes. Multiple views of Paris and its suburbs enjoyed high commercial demand, so the artist, constantly cash-strapped, had to write them tirelessly. In those days the outskirts of Paris were yet built up enough and literally immersed in the pristine green forests. The artist made sketches for future paintings in oils directly without using gouache and charcoal. He confidently writes from life directly on the canvas, only occasionally sketching.
Prescribing the open air fragments of sharp movements sweeping brush, Rousseau completes the picture already in the workshop, carefully modifying the details of each component. Two of the most known examples cityscape in the works are Rousseau web «furniture factory in Alfortville» and «Sewree view from the bridge.» They portrayed the painter loose interpretation factory producing chairs and armchairs in Alfortville and one of Sewree areas in the south-western outskirts of the French capital.
«Furniture Factory in Alfortvigle» was written ten years earlier than the «View from the Bridge Sewree.» When looking at the picture, immediately catches the eye in the sky, with whimsical clouds on it. From left to see the river and the bridge is depicted in the background. But both elements are rather of secondary importance. All of the compositional structure of the painting comes from the wavy sidewalk, suddenly creating a rare picture of Rousseau seems proper perspective. factory building itself is strongly reminiscent of cardboard house of theatrical scenery, also look unnatural figures of people around. All this makes the scene very conditional, almost surreal.
Bright picture element is the figure of the fisherman in the foreground. Initially, his image was a composite necessity. However, after the character has been finished, the artist discovered that the fisherman waiting for fish symbolizes a kind of existence beyond time and space, embodying thus the picture of eternity. It is this distinctive approach to image time sharply differs from the Impressionist Rousseau, which was typical of admiration alone snatched from the life of the moment.
The compositional center of the second pattern is a bridge over the Seine River, which connects its wooded shores. Black and white boat, placed in the foreground, very expressive, his body strangely similar to a human face. Small figures of pedestrians merge with houses, shaded by red foliage. Red and gray-green roofs range perfectly match the autumn landscape. Balloon, glider and aircraft represent three eras of conquest of the sky, which are often mentioned in the press of the time, and he admired Rousseau.
In 1910, Anri Russo creates his greatest masterpiece - painting «The Dream», they exhibited the same year at the 26th Salon des Independants. All his friends and colleagues unanimously say that the product of the most worthy of the best reviews. The poet Giyom Apolliner wrote about it in one of his articles: «I think that no one will dare to laugh this year. You can ask artists - all unanimous, and all their delight, even this sofa in the style of Louis - Philippe, lost in the virgin forest. And they are right. «
Rousseau’s work provides the following comments: «Jadwiga dream of a magical dream. She quietly fell asleep to the sound of the flute of the unknown seducer. When the month throws light on the flowers and green trees, animals, and even predators, freeze, listening to the wonderful sound of music. « Andre Breton (1896 - 1966) notice, a few years later: «I am close to that to assert that it is a great fabric absorbs all the poetry and all the mysteries of our time. It is characterized by the inexhaustible freshness of discovery... «
The painting «Dream», which became one of the last works of Rousseau considered the will of the artist. Weaving, plants create the illusion of space on the canvas, which was echoed by all the color scheme of the picture. Sense of depth emphasized iridescent green shades. Monkeys frolic in the branches of the freakish form, where one can see everywhere colorful exotic birds, and below, underneath, in the grass prowling predators. Only black musician standing in the grass and playing his flute, as if not noticing anything around. And the characters, and the plants are pulled out from the real space, characteristic shape and its true state, but all of them are written so well that look incredibly lifelike. As if anticipating his death, Anri Russo leaves us a legacy of a true image of paradise. His «Dream» the artist highlighted the way the next generation in the art of the surreal, ahead of its time.
Also in 1910 Rousseau wrote another picture - «The attack of the jaguar on the horse» bought later patron Ambroise Vollard. The artist himself was proud of the work. «Twenty-two shades of green!» - proudly told the painter famous Italian criticism Ardzhendo Soffichchi coming in to look for a new job. Soffichchi was shocked brushwork Rousseau. After drawing a pencil all the exotic plants contours, the artist gets in various shades of green color separate strokes, several times each piece of prescribing, and thoroughly cleaned at each change of palette colors.
Despite the fact that Rousseau’s own sympathies were always on the side of academic painting, he was recognized only among the most progressive contemporaries - the avant-garde were his best friends for life. Creative style of the artist referred to the primitivism, thanks to its original style, and because of his love for Italian artists - primitives, such as Fra Angelico (ok.1400 - 1455) and Giotto (1267 - 1337), going on in the XIV and XV centuries, when it is not the laws of classical perspective, the lack of which is and will be a real hallmark of creativity Rousseau were opened. «Only in 1885, after many disappointments, I was able to devote himself to art, he studied himself, and learned the nature of the advice and Jerome Clement» - so says about himself Anri Russo.
Finding your own style, Rousseau had worked at the Louvre, creating copies of the masterpieces of the great masters of the past. Permission to work in the famous museum of the painter was thanks to his friend - Feliksu Klemanu (1826 - 1888), the former, as does Rousseau, self-taught artist. But, unlike the customs officer, Clement has been recognized and favored by the authorities. Him, the happy owner of the Rome Grand Prix of the French Republic, was paid for living and studying in Italy. Clement intelligent, faithful friend and counselor delicate, never allowed himself to ridicule or mockery of Rousseau and his paintings. On the contrary, he has always insisted that the artist remained true to his style and swerved to the chosen road. Clement introduces customs officers Leon Jerome (1824 - 1904), while working in the art over the elevated embodiment of scenes classical mythology and drevnevostochnyh plots. Jerome - Star official art - belonged to a group of artists - pomperov, so named for their inherent pompous luxury linens and ornate splendor, and their distinctive headgear of ancient heroes resembling helmets firefighters (pompiers).
With rare exceptions, such as Clement and Jerome Rousseau friends belonged mainly to the circle of independent artists. It is the representatives of neo-impressionism, especially Georges Seurat (1859 - 1891) and Pol Sinyak (1863 - 1935), were the first who had already in 1886 found in Rousseau’s genius and original masters. Signac highly appreciated his talent as a colorist, and Camille Pissarro (1831- 1903) loudly admired works of the artist, while recognizing that it is «a sense in the first place» in them. He expressed his admiration for the artist, and Rober Delone, the former, along with his wife Sonia (1885 - 1979), one of the founders of abstract art.
Delaunay and Rousseau become friends, despite the fact that the customs officer does not always penetrate to the essence of creative exploration of his friend. «Why Robert broke the Eiffel Tower?» - this sincere question Rousseau concerning picture Delaunay, was the reason for the appearance of the legend of the customs officers as a naive genius who actually never understood imaginative techniques of avant-garde art.
The author of this, as well as many other legends about the life of the artist was a poet - modernist Giyom Apolliner. He created myths about Rousseau, passing through his poetic imagination of the story of his life, and the artist, in turn, immortalized on canvas his image. Apollinaire so spoke about the process of writing a self-portrait: «First of all, he measured my nose, my mouth, my ears, my forehead, my hands, my body and very accurately transferred all these measurements on your fabric, reducing it to the size of the frame. (...) I did not move, watching with admiration as he tenderly refers to the work of the imagination, nothing and no one is allowed to interfere in the creative process, so as not to disturb the harmony of the picture. What mathematical precision he painted figure of a man! If my portrait had my looks nothing, it would have happened through no fault of Rousseau, but because of some annoying bugs in the calculations. However, I have learned in the picture, even those who are not familiar «with me. In the role of the poet muses on canvas depicts the artist and close friend of Apollinaire - Marie Lorenzen (1883 - 1956).
The evening, which entered the history of art
Here is an example of one of the stories related to the life of Rousseau and his friends. One January evening in 1908 Apollinaire and Rousseau appear in Bago-Lavoir, where a small wooden house arranged his studio the artist from Catalonia Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973). The customs officer, in a hat of soft felt, takes pride of place at the table, leaving the cloak and the staff at the door. On the wall hangs a work of self-taught artist, «Portrait of Madame M.» (the most mysterious «Jadwiga»). The wall itself is decorated with flags, lanterns and a large poster with the inscription «In honor of Rousseau.» Present guests all in high spirits, some have already visited a nearby restaurant.
Apollinaire solemnly recites an ode, which he wrote for the occasion: «We have come to you to honor the wine that pours Picasso. There is a reason to drink, and let us drink and sing «Long live Rousseau!» Around the table together: the artists Zhorzh Brak (1882 - 1963), Mari Lorensen and Andre Derain (1880 - 1954), writer Andre Salomon, the poet Maks Yakob (1876 - 1944) and two American - known writer Gertrude Stein (1874 - 1946) and Alisiya Toklas. The wine flows like water, Rousseau takes his violin and plays once wrote for Clemence waltz. Then coming to Picasso and said quietly in his ear: «We - two of the greatest artist of the.» Then getting back Apollinaire and reads the poem, which tells about the journey they invented Rousseau in Mexico: «Do you remember, Rousseau, the Aztec landscape? Forest where grew pineapples and mangoes, Fun monkey, watermelon pulp, Race warming Emperor Maximilian? your picture - originally from Mexico, where the burning sun and the riot of nature. « The artist, who had never been in this country, not even trying to argue, because today the long-awaited day of his triumph.
Later, a friend of Picasso, Fernande Olivier will argue that a festive reception in the Bateau-Lavoir was a joke, a hoax. However, Andre Salomon wrote in his memoirs: «In the Bateau - Lavoir we were facing only one problem - we wanted to give Rousseau a holiday that he was worthy.» This technique in the Bateau - Lavoir became one of the key moments in the history of modern painting: it is two generations of artists, thanks to which there has arisen a new art met.