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Take a Picture …. Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!) Henri Rousseau, 1891. Rosmond Milner. First impressions count describe the painting in ONE word. Look for clues in the picture. Subject Style Composition Colour Mood. Looking at pictures: visual literacy. Subject

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take a picture

Take a Picture ….

Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!)

Henri Rousseau, 1891

Rosmond Milner


First impressions count

describe the painting in ONE word

look for clues in the picture
Look for clues in the picture
  • Subject
  • Style
  • Composition
  • Colour
  • Mood
looking at pictures visual literacy
Looking at pictures: visual literacy
  • Subject
  • Is it formal, informal, a portrait, a landscape, a still-life, heroic, exotic, fantastic, ordinary/everyday?
looking at pictures visual literacy1
Looking at pictures: visual literacy
  • Style
  • Is it naïve, childlike, primitive, stylised, bold, simplified, modern, classical?
looking at pictures visual literacy2
Looking at pictures: visual literacy
  • Composition
  • Think about perspective, depth of view, pattern, diagonal lines, movement, rhythm, orientation (portrait or landscape format)?
looking at pictures visual literacy3
Looking at pictures: visual literacy
  • Colour
  • Are the colours bright, warm, hot, strong, bold, complementary colours (red/green, purple/yellow, blue/orange); are there strong tonal contrasts?
looking at pictures visual literacy4
Looking at pictures: visual literacy
  • Mood
  • Is the picture atmospheric, stormy, windy, light and dark, scary, exciting, electric, dramatic?
what can t we see in a reproduction
What can’t we see in a reproduction?
  • Size
  • Texture > brush marks, thickness of paint
  • Support > canvas, wood, paper
  • If the colour reproduction is accurate
art detectives
Art detectives
  • www.nationalgallery.org.uk
  • The National Gallery.Click on Search then scroll down the page to Search the Collection. Type in Rousseau
  • www.artchive.com
  • Mark Harden’s database of artists.Click on the Mona Lisa to enter the site and on H Rousseau in the index on the left. View the Image List
  • www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/rousseau
  • The Web Museum, Paris

Visit these websites to find answers for the quiz about the painting:

art detectives1
What was the painting first called?

When was it made?

Where can it be seen now?

In what way was the painting a first for Rousseau?

Which jungle inspired the painting?



The National Gallery, London

It was his first jungle painting

None – Rousseau claimed he served with the army in Mexico, but it was probably inspired by visits to the botanical gardens and zoo in Paris and by illustrated books

Art detectives
6.When was Rousseau born and when did he die?

7. What was his nickname and why?

8. Name one of his other famous paintings?

9. Why is Rousseau known as a naïve artist?

10. Which twentieth century art movement was influenced by his style of painting after his death?

6. 1844 – 1910

7. Le Douanier or Douanier Rousseau because he had been a low-ranking Customs Officer before he retired

8. The Dream, The Sleeping Gypsy, The Football Players

9. Because he was formally untrained and painted in a childlike or “primitive” way

10. Surrealism


Rousseau’s times

    • Art movements
      • Impressionism
      • Post Impressionism
      • Fauvism
      • Cubism
    • Artists
      • Picasso
      • Cézanne
      • Gaugin
      • Monet
      • Léger
      • Dufy

Self-portrait, Prague 1890

fact file on rousseau
Fact file on Rousseau
  • He took 3 months to finish a painting working 7 days a week
  • He painted slowly from the top to the bottom of the canvas, filling in just one colour at a time

Portrait of the poet Apollinaire

fact file on rousseau1
Fact file on Rousseau
  • There are over 50 shades of green in a jungle painting
  • He gave violin & painting lessons and was a street musician to eke out a living
  • He died in poverty and had a pauper’s grave at first

Rousseau’s grave now has an epitaph by Apollinaire

Gentle Rousseau you can hear usWe salute you Delaunay, his wife, Monsieur Queval and I Let our luggage through the gate of heaven duty-free We’ll bring you paintbrushes, colours, canvassesSo that your heavenly leisure time in the real light Is devoted to painting as when you did my portrait The face of the stars

Guillaume Apollinaire

translated RKM

famous quotes 1
Famous quotes 1

“ You know, I could have finished all these pictures”

about Cézanne, 1907

famous quotes 2
Famous quotes 2

“ We are the two greatest painters of this era: you in the Egyptian style and I in the modern style”

about Picasso, 1908