Henri Rousseau The Snake Charmer

Henri Rousseau The Snake Charmer – The Dream (French: Le Rêve; sometimes known as Le Songe or Rêve exotique) is a large 1910 oil on canvas painting by Henri Rousseau, one of more than 25 forest-themed paintings by Rousseau. His last completed work was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépdants between March 18 and May 1, 1910, a few months before his death on September 2, 1910. Rousseau’s earlier works were negatively received, but the poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire noted . his debut: “The picture radiates beauty, that’s for sure. I’m sure no one will laugh this year.”

Dream is the largest of the forest paintings, measuring 6′ 8½” × 9′ 9½” (204.5 × 298.5 cm). It features an almost surreal portrait of Rousseau’s young Polish mistress, Jadwiga (Jadwiga), lying naked on a sofa to the left of the painting, overlooking a landscape of lush forest foliage, including lotus flowers, and animals, including birds and monkeys , elephant, lion and lion and snake. The stylized forms of jungle plants are based on Rousseau’s observations in the Paris Museum of Natural History and his Jardin des Plantes. The left hand of the naked man is extended to the lions and the black snake, which looks at the flute-playing spectator, barely visible in the darkness of the forest under the dim light of the full moon. A pink-bellied snake slithers through the grass, its curved shape mirroring the curves of a woman’s hips and legs.

Henri Rousseau The Snake Charmer

Suspecting that some viewers did not understand the painting, Rousseau wrote a poem for it, Inscription pour La Rêve:

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A possible interpretation of the painting, presented by Rousseau in a letter to the art critic Andre Dupont, is that it depicts a woman sitting on a sofa in Paris and dreaming of playing the flute in a forest.

The subject of exposing nudes is drawn from the classical tradition, from Titianus Urbino Wus from 1538 to Manet’s Olympia from 1863. Rousseau may have been inspired by Emile Zola’s Le Rêve, a novel about the love between a painter and an embroiderer. While filming The Dream, Russo had an affair with shopkeeper Leoni.

The French art dealer Ambroise Vollard bought the painting in February 1910 from Rousseau. It was sold through the Knoedler Gallery in New York in January 1934 to Sidney Janis, a dressmaker and art collector. Janis sold the painting in 1954 to Nelson A. Rockefeller, who gave it as a gift. to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to celebrate the museum’s 25th anniversary. It remains on display at MoMA. The Snake Charmer (French: La Charmeuse de Serpts) is an oil painting from 1907 by the French simplistic artist Chris Rousseau (1844-1910). It is an image of a woman playing a flute in the moonlight at the edge of a dark forest, her eyes glowing with a snake reaching out from a nearby tree.

“Snake Charmer” was commissioned by Comtesse de Delaunay Berthe, mother of artist Robert Delaunay. It was Rousseau’s first major commission and was exhibited at the Autumn Salon of 1907.

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As Rousseau never traveled outside of France, the exotic plants in the painting are taken from Rousseau’s visits to the Jardin des plantes and journals.

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From 1922 to 1936 the Snake Charmer was in the collection of Jacques Duce. It was promised to the Louvre in 1925 and entered its collection in 1937.

The painting has an asymmetrical vertical composition, detailing a forest on the right and a woman playing a flute illuminated by moonlight from a full moon on the left. A snake enchanted by music stretches horizontally across the picture. The Musée d’Orsay described the painting as “The Black Eve in Ed’s Disturbing Garde.”

Sylvia Plath’s 1957 poem “The Snake Charmer” and Willard Elliott’s 1975 composition “The Snake Charmer” for viola and orchestra were inspired by Rousseau’s painting.

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This image inspired the Australian artist Brett-Livingston Strong’s painting “Homage to Harry Russo”, which is recognized as the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 album Tango in the Night. The image was also used as the cover for Anne Rice’s 2000 novel Merrick, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennett, The Origins of Modern Intelligence by Marilyn Donald and Gaia by James E. Lovelock.

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