At the close of the 19th century, artists freely explored the innovations of Impressionism by expanding on the use of color, light, subject, and texture. The film examines how the Rousseau and the Post-Impressionists helped to usher in a new era of art by paving the way for Modernism.
“Henri Rousseau was born in Laval, France in the Loire Valley into the family of a tinsmith. His best known paintings depict jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. Stories spread by admirers that his army service included the French expeditionary force to Mexico are unfounded. His inspiration came from illustrated books and the botanical gardens in Paris, as well as tableaux of taxidermied wild animals. He had also met soldiers, during his term of service, who had survived the French expedition to Mexico and listened to their stories of the subtropical country they had encountered. To the critic Arsène Alexandre, he described his frequent visits to the Jardin des Plantes: “When I go into the glass houses and I see the strange plants of exotic lands, it seems to me that I enter into a dream.”
Along with his exotic scenes there was a concurrent output of smaller topographical images of the city and its suburbs.” (From Wikipedia)
He claimed to have invented a new genre of portrait landscape, which he achieved by starting a painting with a view such as a favourite part of the city, and then depicting a person in the foreground.
Produced by : Cromwell Productions Ltd.
Image: The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope by Henri Rousseau.