Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Rousseau was not a great student, did not graduate, and entered the military service where he remained for four years. During his military service, Rousseau met soldiers who had fought and survived the French expedition to Mexico in 1862. Some say these survivors told Rousseau their memories and stories about the subtropical country and he was fascinated and inspired to paint exotic landscapes that would become his defining style. Rousseau's vivid jungle scenes, such as The Dream, led to the rumor that he traveled often to Mexico when in actuality, he never left France in his lifetime.
Rousseau's jungle paintings used up to fifty different shades of green. Rousseau would complete his paintings one color at a time, doing all of one color and then moving on to the next color, and so on. Thus, he spent a great amount of time on a single painting and his collection is not large by any means.Many critics thought that Rousseau's paintings were childish because of his lack of professional training, but Rousseau possessed great creativity and invention in his particular technique.
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