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press release

The most impressive selection of jungle paintings by the enigmatic French painter Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) ever assembled will be on view in the first major American retrospective of the artist's work in over 20 years. Among the 60 paintings in the exhibition are such major icons as Horse Attacked by a Jaguar (1910), The Dream (1910), and Tropical Forest with Monkeys (1910), which will be presented along with examples of the artist's work in other genres, including landscapes, allegorical paintings, and portraits. The display of Rousseau's fantasy landscapes of a seductive and terrifying faraway world along with the artist's paintings of his homeland France will reveal how both reflect the fears and desires of a new modern era. A poor customs agent, Rousseau was a self-taught painter who harbored dreams of fame in the Academy. He was ultimately acclaimed by early 20th-century avant-garde artists including Picasso and the surrealists, who admired the boldness of his primitive style and the dreamlike quality of his strange compositions. This painter of exotic locales never left France; Rousseau's jungles are the fantasies of a city dweller, constructed from visits to the botanical gardens, the zoo, and book, magazine and postcard reproductions of dangerous beasts from faraway places. The exhibition will include a rich selection of Rousseau's visual source material.

Organization: Organized by Tate Modern, London, and the Musée d'Orsay and Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington.


Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris
Organisation: Tate Modern, London; Musée d´Orsay, Paris; National Gallery, Washington