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The snake charmer

Henri Rousseau • Painting, 1907, 190×169 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Allegorical scene
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1907
Size: 190×169 cm
Artwork in selections: 32 selections

Description of the artwork «The snake charmer»

"Snake-Charmer" written by order Elie Delaunay, the artist's mother Robert Delaunay. The role of Robert in the fate of Henri Rousseau can hardly be overestimated. He brought the Officer to the "big world", with his light hand on Russo talking.

Elie Delaunay and traveled a lot. Probably, her stories about India inspired Rousseau. The artist, convincingly depicting bizarre tropical plants, had never seen the jungle or India, and indeed from France did not go, although he supported the legend that during the service visited in Mexico. The only place where Rousseau could see tropical plants, was a Botanical garden. However, the mural of the vegetation, we did not meet anywhere – she is a figment of the imagination of a Customs officer.

Rousseau possessed the technique of creating linear perspective, but, skillfully working the color reached effects of distancing and approaching. In the center of the image is black shape a toggle, was inspired by the Elie Delaunay. The variation of the depths of the black (Gauguin admired how great Russo operates in black) gives the figure charmers magnetism, it fascinates and attracts the eye, the spectator falls into the black center of the picture. Obvivshem body charmers snake seems an extension of it, as if they were created from one substance. Brightening sky in the background creates a feeling of remoteness. Pink flamingos next to the woman from the category of favorite objects of the artist.

At the forefront of solar-green unknown plants with large long leaves. When Rousseau wrote the trees, the flowers, sometimes used more than 20 shades of green in one picture. Blue (right) & red (top) flashes dilute this Kingdom of green.

This is one of the first attempts at creating a Customs officer, dreaming of space, in fact, the forerunner of surrealism. To the maximum extent it will be implemented in the last picture of the artist, Dreaming. But the reality seems to be a transition into the world of dreams.

Robert Delaunay, persuading the mother to order the Customs officer picture, made a great gift as future fans Russo, and myself. After 15 years he will sell the "snake-Charmer" for 50 thousand francs. The new owner, collector Jacques Doucet willed the painting to France, and it became the first work of Rousseau, exhibited in the Louvre. From the Louvre "Whisperer" was in the Paris Museum of modern art, and from there to the Museum d'orsay, where it is today.

Author: Alain Esaulova