The Muse inspiring the poet

Henri Rousseau • Painting, 1909, 146×97 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape, Portrait
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1909
Size: 146×97 cm
Artwork in selections: 14 selections

Description of the artwork «The Muse inspiring the poet»

"The Muse inspiring the poet"– not who other as the lover of Apollinaire Marie laurencin, artist and Garver. Accordingly, the poet is himself Guillaume Apollinaire. The portrait was painted after the famous Picasso reception, arranged in honour of the Douanier – Rousseau nickname, 15 years worked at the Paris customs office (read more about the reception read in the biography of Rousseau).

Russo was a big fan of this genre as portrait-landscape. Concerning this picture I have pictures that reveal the way the artist's work. The photo depicts a Rousseau painting, which is almost completely spelled out the background and left blank space for the figures which he has entered in the last turn.

Basel portrait – this is the second option. The fact that Marie laurencin asked to represent at their feet Turkish carnations, the symbol of poets. Rousseau repeatedly visited the Botanical garden, made sketches, and in the end, all confused and "stuck" in the ground at the feet of the poet and the Muse, the Wallflowers – the symbol of death and oblivion. I say, Marie made a huge scandal. By the way, do not forget that Marie laurencin was a lady is extremely slender, with a wasp waist, about than on the portrait to guess, frankly, is not easy. On the question of why he painted Mademoiselle Laurencin in this form, Rousseau calmly replied: "but a great poet needs a great Muse!".

However, other sources claim that a sense of humor, Marie takes precedence over women's outrage, and she laughed wildly, looking at his image. But to take him home, he still did not dare. The painting remained at Russo and caught the eye of a Russian philanthropist and art collector Sergei Shchukin, who bought it for his collection. So "The poet and the Muse" on the background of the Wallflowers" came to Russia. And here's the thing – whether Apollinaire took a fresh look at the picture, whether Marie was no longer angry, but soon the poet came to Russo with the intention to pick up the portrait. What to do, I had to write a new one!

It must be noted that in the second version not only fixed the flowers. Marie does not look so big, and the dress definitely emphasizes the waist – not a wasp, of course, but compared to the first version of it, at least, available. By the way, fernande Olivier, a friend of Pablo Picasso, Marie disliked and sarcastically stated that with age she is becoming more like his portrait of Rousseau.

Yes, and Apollinaire in Basel seems more "our bruised", neat. If in the first variant, with the Wallflowers, the images of Apollinaire and his Muse as individualized, somewhat grotesque, enlarged – as we look at them, bringing to the canvas the magnifying glass, then the second option is to try to write a salon picture. Jewelry by Marie in the first option is by far the of flowers. The whole composition bears a stamp of antiquity. On the second portrait figures and faces depicted schematic, Marie encircles the neck just a decoration, the landscape is also averaged, schematized, the trees clearly form an arch under which the represented objects. Rousseau generally very revered academic painting and sincerely believed that he was "too". The avant-garde, he believed, by and large, indulgence, wondered "why Robert (Delaunay – ed.) broke Eiffel tower" and sought to write the salon a painting that I didn't really succeed. But managed much more. In this sense, the comparison of the two versions of "the Poet and the Muse" is very interesting, as it clearly demonstrates how the version with the studs was slightly less than the Customs officer, a little more than a cabin.

Author: Alain Esaulova