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Henri Rousseau

May 25, 2010 – September 12, 2010

One hundred years after the death of Henri Rousseau in 1910, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, dedicates an exhibition to the extraordinary French painter. Approximately thirty masterpieces provide a sweeping review of the tremendous breadth of his artistic career and underscore Rousseau's importance as one of the main forerunners of modern art, whose influence was destined to belie early descriptions of him as "charming, though rather odd and naïve." In addition to the well-known jungle paintings which characterized his later work, Rousseau also painted views of Paris and its environs, portraits, allegories, and folk scenes in an innovative style that can best be described as "painted collage." These visual juxtapositions—civilization and nature, the quasi-symmetrical and hieratic arrangements of the figures and elements, and the combination of empty spaces with other densely populated zones—reveal the scope of Rousseau's solid and magnificent repertoire.

Henri Rousseau

The Hungry Lion throws itself on the Antelope (Le lion, ayant faim, se jette sur l'antilope), 1898/1905

Oil on canvas

200 x 301 cm

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen Basel
Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel

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