CONTEXT

May 18, 2011

Och – sorry, Craig!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 12:14 am
Tags: , ,

Rousseau self-portraitCraig Ferguson was not 51 yesterday, but 49.  Apologies for the fuzzy math…I won’t even attempt the calculation for Saturday’s anniversary of the birth in 1844 of Henri Rousseau, a man of limited opportunities but unlimited aspirations.  An employee of the Paris Municipal Toll Service, he dreamed of art, of painting, of joining the ranks of the working artists of his Montparnasse neighborhood.

Initially, very few people took him seriously – he was the ultimate outsider – but as a new generation of artists appeared, he garnered more attention. Matisse, Braque, Picasso became admirers, Brancusi wrote his epitaph.  There is a very nice little essay at the Princeton website which corrects a lot of misinformation.  And here is a good collection of his work.

His jungles, btw, were based on studies in the Botanical Gardens of Paris, and the animals were the products of taxidermy.

The Flamingoes

Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised)

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4 Comments »

  1. Joyful story thank you, nice pics too.

    Comment by avery — May 18, 2011 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  2. Always! My whole life have loved H.Rousseau the person, and painter. Always felt sad and guilty that I could never be a “primative” Painter.
    How did you know?…Thank you anyway!

    Comment by GALYA TARMU — May 18, 2011 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  3. I wonder what makes a painter “primitive?” You can be totally bereft of skills and still not be a primitive. I want to be one also.

    Comment by Carol — May 18, 2011 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

  4. any body who paints exactly what they want , in the way they want to, as well as they can and is happily disregarding any conventions about what makes “art” is usually regarded as a primitive artist….its what you get called when you do not follow the pack…

    Comment by susan — March 2, 2012 @ 6:32 am | Reply


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