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War (Rider of discord)

Henri Rousseau • Painting, 1894, 195×114.5 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Allegorical scene
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1894
Size: 195×114.5 cm
Artwork in selections: 18 selections

Description of the artwork «War (Rider of discord)»

"War" interpreterpath the story about the horsemen of the Apocalypse. But instead of the four we have one – rider of discord, War. She is depicted not an evil woman. On the contrary, it is a child. Knows no limits and does not hear the voice of reason. Released her to freedom, called immediately loses control of it, she rushes, destroying everything in its path. And that's because she's not "evil", just that is its nature, it is impossible to convince, to stop, to persuade. It is inevitable and impervious to logic, impervious to her like a tsunami and fire.

Mountains of corpses that rider reserves, it is not happy and not sad – it just sweeps over them. The torch in her hand – like a terrible toy in the hands of indifferently-crazy child. The feeling of disaster and destruction, emphasize the bare trees and broken branches. Crippled body seem ghostly, as if rasoplast our eyes. Rider of discord coming to the dead crow and the glow of a fire in the distance – reality far more than these bodies, more recently, former people.

When Henri Rousseau met his second love, Josephine, she was married to a bad type Monsieur Tencere, who drank hard and fought the woman. What could an artist do? Something could. He portrayed his beloved wife dead – bearded on the right, on the breast of which was perched the crows peck out his eyes, is the husband of Josephine. According to rumors, the Russo brothers at the Masonic Lodge condemned the appointment. However, the results it brought, the magic of a painting does not make blank shots after some time the husband of Josephine, being drunk, died in a roadside ditch...

The artist himself is also portrayed in this picture. It's here – the only other rider and birds, the living entity. Right in the foreground is a man with open eyes. On the one hand, it's a celebration of life – a rider of discord sweeping over him, around him the corpses, and he is alive. On the other – recognition, Sagem so the fragility of this phenomenon. How long will it stay alive if the war sweeps over him?

"War" is the first painting by Rousseau, praised. To this criticism if Rousseau mentioned that only as a target for ridicule. And в1894 year in the newspaper "Mercure de France" finally appeared appreciative review.

"Painting beautifully conveys the vibrant atmosphere of distress and irreparable loss; nothing ever will live here. Burning away, the fire will complete the cruelty inflicted by the weapon. You have to be dishonest to assert that the person is able to convince us these thoughts, not the artist"– wrote art critic albert du Roy.

Author: Alain Esaulova