Boy on the Rocks Henri Rousseau Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Boys on the Rocks is one of the most well-known works by the popular artist Henri Rousseau. Rousseau created the painting using oil on linen. The original size of the painting is 21 13/16 by 18 inches.

The exact time when Henry Rousseau created the photo is still unknown. However, it is said to have been composed anywhere between 1895 and 1897.

A description of the painting

The Boy on the Rocks by Henri Rousseau features an image of a boy sitting on top of rocks. The rocks are jagged-looking. The painting also features several other piles of rocks around the boy. The boy has a black sweater or cloak with lock sleeves. The sweater completely covers his neck and arms. However, his hands are not covered. At the bottom, he has white trousers with black horizontal stripes. He also appears to have a similar shirt under his black sweater. Part of the shirt can be seen under his sweater. He also has on black boots covering his foot up to the top of his ankles.

The boy’s expression is slightly smiling. However, his lips are fully closed. His cheeks are also rosy and red. These features make his face appear flushed, especially because of the pale background. His hair is neatly combed and parted on one side. The background of the painting or behind the boy is a light blue sky. The sky does not have any clouds in it, and it is incredibly clear. The lower right corner of the painting features an inscription of the artist’s name (H.Rousseau).


Henri Rousseau is known for using his art to create mysterious poetry and express a dreamlike force. These are some of the terms used by art critics to describe this particular composition. The painting is created in the primitive style, which Henri was initially ridiculed over before getting endorsed by fellow prominent artists. Illustrated books inspired the painting. The painting is incredibly simple with a naïve vision. According to critics, these are the best features of pieces created by Henri Rousseau.

Similar paintings

Henri Rousseau made several other similar compositions with single characters like the Repast of the Lion. He also made several pieces in a similar style, which are located at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Final word

The original piece was purchased by Chester Dale, an art collector, in 1927. Subsequently, the art collector bequeathed the painting to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in 1963. However, there are numerous recreations of this painting. Regardless, the original piece still features some unique characteristics that set it apart from other recreations. Miro was another notable artist, and he produced items such as Milano, Prades and House with Palm Tree.