The Equatorial Jungle 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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For this painting of a tropical jungle, we see once again, Henri Rousseau’s creativity with paint on canvas. On this beautiful painting made entirely from his imagination and constant trips to the local botanical garden in Paris Henri Rousseau wows the world with this naïve yet charming painting of an equatorial jungle.

In a clever play on greens, we can see the different shades of green that have been layered onto each other to create a very tropical feeling as one looks at the painting. Darker shades showing darker leaves and shadows created by other leaves also grasses and wide-leaved plants and trees with leaves that look like the most perfect leaves ever seen.

Some of his critics said that he painted in an exaggerated manner and that his paintings were amateur and even child-like, but maybe that’s why they are so appealing and charming, for the plants he used were more likely to be found in the house than in the jungle. He would reference the plants in the botanical garden and make them appear as big as they would be in the jungle, having no formal art education, the self-taught painter intrigues the viewer with his creativity as the more one looks at the painting the more detail to attention one can see.

We can see a bird, presumably, a parrot perched upon the branches of a plant and it blends in so well, one has to look keenly to notice it. Also interesting, is how the bird doesn’t seem to weigh anything as the stem beneath it doesn’t look weighted, such details made the French painter get categorized as a naïve painter as he doesn’t apply the formal styles taught to artists in art school. However, that tag does him no justice as he was such an eccentric painter he didn’t need the formal styles to express his uniqueness as an artist.

As one looks lower, the integration of bright flowers can be seen, which brings a different burst of bright colors and shapes to the painting. Looking at the lower parts of the painting Henri Rousseau continues to show his imagination and ability to tell stories on canvas as we can see two more animals in the frame, on the ground of the jungle one tucked away hiding behind the bushes and it seems to be attempting an ambush on the other unaware animal, that could be a monkey who went down a tree to the jungle floor in search of food. Wherever one looks at this painting the eyes are intrigued. Henri Rousseau was truly a masterful painter who didn’t let people’s definitions of him and his art stop him from creating beautifully unique art such as this lovely painting.