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Rousseau, Henri (Le Douanier)

Born: 1844 AD
Died: 1910 AD, at 66 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Ambassadors, Painters


1844 - Born on May 21st in Laval, France. Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. He is also known as Le Douanier ("the customs officer") after his place of employment.

1863-1868 - He served in the French Army.

1869 - Russeau worked in a toll booth on the edge of Paris, as a municipal toll collector. For that job he was called "Le Douanier" but he never really was a customs officer, but a second-class clerk; he was never promoted on his job and basically collected a fee from farmers coming to Paris markets.

         - Married the daughter of Clémence Boitard.

1884 - Rousseau began painting in his forties. He obtained a permit to sketch in the national museums and spent many hours sketching classical art masterpieces in the Louvre.

1886 - Rousseau exhibited every year at the Salon des Independants along with the works of Georges Seurat, Armand Guillaumin, Odilon Redon, Paul Signac, Paul Gauguin, and other Post-Impressionists. His greatest wish was to master an academic style, and he genuinely believed that his pictures were real and convincing.

1893 - He retired on pension and began painting to occupy his time.

1897 - His work "The Sleeping Gypsy", which shows a lion musing over a sleeping man in eerie moonlight, is one of the best-known works of the modern era.

1905 - He exhibited his large jungle composition 'The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope' along with Henri Matisse at the first showing of Les Fauves (The Wild Ones).

1910 - Died on September 2nd and was laid to rest in the Cimetiere de Bagneux, in Paris, France.


Page last updated: 12:28pm, 15th Mar '07