Jaguar Attacking a Horse 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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The painting Jaguar Attacking a Horse was done by Henri Rousseau, a French post-impressionist painter, in 1910 just before his death. His artwork was done in The Naive or Primitive manner. The medium used was oil on canvas and the dimensions are 116 x 90 cm. The title in French is Cheval Attaque par un Jaguar.

In the Post-Impressionist era, there were a number of art movements that were developed. One of these movements was the Naive or Primitive movement. This art form is Western in nature but burrowed from Prehistoric art. This is also known as Naive art or Primitive art. This might seem offensive to some, but the terms "Naive" and "Primitive" simply mean what came first.

What is emphasized in this art form is simplicity. It is about going back to the basics. It is interesting that modern art movements such as Cubism and in general Post-Impressionism seek out cultural influences that not as "advanced" as the West. Yet, it is the non-Western cultures that have inspired these artists to change the way art is created. Rousseau was a self-taught artist and he is best known for his childlike jungle scenes like the painting Jaguar Attacking a Horse. One would think that Rousseau was widely travelled and so is familiar with the jungle in various parts of the world. However, this is not the case. He never left France and has never been to the jungle.

His ideas for his jungle paintings mainly came from illustrated books and trips to the botanical gardens. He also interviewed soldiers who have been to the subtropics in Mexico. He was able to glean further ideas from them. He closely studied animals that were preserved and this also helped him with his drawings. Rousseau believed that he was a realist artist, but this is not the case. His paintings are very simple as is the case with Jaguar Attacking a Horse. On the other hand, the colours in this painting are rich and vibrant. This painting as a whole resembles illustrations that one would find in a children's storybook. The face of the horse is seen but not the tiger that is eating the horse.

This painting is peculiar because it does not realistically portray a jaguar attacking its prey. However, this is what makes his work interesting because it is different. Rousseau's method of painting involved the use of more than twenty different hues of green, his favourite colour. Even though he was ridiculed by society because of his simple paintings, he did not let this stop him from creating art.

Jaguar Attacking a Horse in Detail Henri Rousseau