Exotic Landscape 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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Rousseau evokes deep emotions through his primitivism style of art. Exotic Landscape best describes the idea of a dreamy place in a human mind’s imagination. In 1908, Henri Rousseau created the Exotic Landscape in Paris, where he also worked and lived.

Despite being a prolific artist, Rousseau neither attended a school of art nor visited the actual locations he painted in his original pieces. The French painter got his inspiration from zoo locations around Paris. Generally, the Exotic Landscape brings out different themes of wildlife and nature fused with a touch of mystery and serenity.

In this painting, Rousseau uses different shades of green, orange, red, yellow, blue, black, grey, and white to highlight every individual aspect of nature. Unlike an ordinary painting of nature, the broad leaves and grasses in the Exotic Landscape are asymmetrical to the size and length of surrounding trees. At first sight, the red-blue bird in the middle of the painting grabs the viewer’s attention. To the bird’s right, a monkey is perched on a branch. Naturally, this primate is heading for a ripe orange just an inch within its reach. On the other bird’s side and a little lower, another monkey looks sideways in anticipation, like a young one waiting for its provider to pluck food from the trees.

Several other monkeys are located and hidden from clear view in the foreground vegetation. Most of these primates are enjoying the orange fruits hanging on nearby trees, undisturbed. From this perspective, Rousseau brings out nature at its best, with harmony and tranquility dictating the interconnection of all species. Most of the background is decorated with oranges and green vegetation. To make the scenery more dreamy, lively and natural, Rousseau uses diverse shades of white and green to highlight the leaves, trees, grass, and other plantation. The sky also takes up a significant portion of the background. The light blue sky is clear, with no clouds.

Everything in the Exotic Landscape reveals the beauty of nature from Rousseau’s perspective. The artist expressed his thoughts and desires on oil canvas. This way, he aspired to spread his love for nature and hopefully inspire other people to do the same. Despite being a self-taught painter, the Exotic Landscape demonstrates Henri's remarkable skill and an especially supernatural handiwork with the paintbrush. This jungle piece is reserved separately from public artworks, it’s kept in a personal collection.