Henri Rousseau at Palazzo Ducale, Venice

004Henri Rousseau, Negre attaque par un jaguar dit aussi Paysage de foret vierge au soleil couchant, 1910. Image courtesy of Kunstmuseum Basel

Henri Rousseau at Palazzo Ducale, Venice

A central figure in figurative art between the end of the 19th century and the revolutionary period of the avant-garde movements, and famous for his dreamlike atmospheres, forests and enchanted landscapes, Henri Rousseau (Laval, 1844 – Paris, 1910), has always been impossible to pigeonhole.

001Henri Rousseau, La Guerre‐La chevauchée de la Discorde, 1894. Image courtesy of RMN‐Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)/Tony Querrec

With the special collaboration of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and under the patronage of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Venezia e Laguna, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia is dedicating an extraordinary exhibition to Rousseau, known also as Le Douanier. Produced by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE, the exhibition will boast over 100 works from leading international institutions (40 masterpieces by Rousseau himself and 60 works for the purposes of comparison), and will be held in the Doge’s Apartments in the Doge’s Palace.

003Henri Rousseau, La Charmeuse de serpents, 1907. Image courtesy of RMN‐Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski

The project, arising from an idea by Gabriella Belli and Guy Cogeval, the exhibition’s commissioners, and shared and developed with the collaboration of Laurence des Cars and Claire Bernardi, aims not to be the latest in a long line celebrating the French painter’s naïveté but rather the presentation of a long series of studies started more than three years ago.

004Henri Rousseau, La carriole du Pere Junier, 1908. Image courtesy of RMN‐Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)

Such an event has never before been held in Italy. Through a lively sequence of thematic sections, the exhibition will make it possible to admire some of the French painter’ most famous masterpieces, including the Self-portrait (1889-90) the artist considered the first “portrait-landscape” in the history of art, The poultry yard (1896-98), bought by Kandinsky and exhibited in the first Blaue Reiter show in Munich, War or the ride of discord (1894), painted by Rousseau with that innocent eye that Ardengo Soffici, a firm supporter, defined as being full of “child-like ingenuousness”.

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