HENRI ROUSSEAU

French Post-Impressionist and self-taught painter Henri Rousseau mainly produced childlike, primitive art. He had no formal art training, which contributed to the little mastery over perspective or anatomy in his works. His dreamlike works highly impressed other artists of his time like Pablo Picasso, who was only one of many inspired by Rousseau’s impact on the Parisian avant-garde. Despite his connections to the art world, he never profited. His recognition came slowly over years, mostly beyond his death. Born to a plumber’s family, Rousseau was an average student who got a job as a lawyer in early adulthood. However, he committed a small perjury which forced him to seek refuge in the army. He served for 4 years and saw no combat. He moved to Paris and got a government job as a toll collector to support his widowed mother. He married twice. Rousseau painted in his spare time and exhibited his work at The Society of Independent Artists for most of his life. He retired at 49 and dedicated himself to his art.

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