The Sleeping Gypsy
Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (born May 21, 1844 – died September 2, 1910) was a French artist. Rousseau was a largely self-taught painter, although he had ambitions of entering the Academy. Henri Rousseau had a passion for painting and in his forties decided to take art more as a profession and then becoming a genius Post-Impressionist artist. Rousseau’s most famous painting is called “The Sleeping Gypsy” or in French “La Bohemienne Endormie”, an oil on canvas work created in 1897, which depicts a jungle scenes like other paintings he is known for. Although he had never encountered anything wild in him life he has met soldiers who had stories he heard about the subtropical countries and the animals. “The Sleeping Gypsy” got him a lot of fame and in his time critiques as well. Many did not like his unique style of work and considered it untutored, but he stuck to his painting which eventually “struck a chord with a younger generation of painters including Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, and Frida Kahlo”. The oil on canvas painting of “The Sleeping Gypsy” measures 51" x 6' 7” (approximate proportion of 1:1.5), and is said to be an icon in the 'Modern Art' forms. The horizontal painting is of a “wandering Negress” who seems to be a mandolin player because of the instrument beside her. She is lying on the desert beside a vase of what seems to be drinking water and seems to be in a deep sleep. She has a colorful dress which I assume to be traditional. There is a lion next to her that smells her but does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect in the dark blue sky and there is a beautiful landscape in background of mountains. Between the mountains and the main subjects there seems to be a body of water. Now the frame of this painting is pretty plain and harmonious which makes it appropriate to the subjects of the lion and gypsy woman. It does not cut the shape of the painting nor does it take attention away from the...
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