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Henri Rousseau • Painting, 1910, 298×204 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Nude
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1910
Size: 298×204 cm
Content 18+
Artwork in selections: 59 selections

Description of the artwork «Sleep»

Huge canvas "Sleep" often called the best work of Rousseau. This is either the last, or one of the last (data differ) it works, and it is, perhaps, the artist said everything he's learned in his life.

"Sleep" can be officially considered the forerunner of surrealism. Rousseau was often covered, so that the audience understood correctly, "what did the artist want to say," and supplied the paintings to extensive review. In particular, "Sleep" has received a summary from the Creator: "Jadwiga dream a magical dream. She quietly fell asleep to the sounds of the flute of the unknown seducer. When the moon casts light on the flowers and green trees, animals, even predators, freeze, listening to the wonderful sounds of music".

According to one legend, Jadwiga was called polka, which Rousseau in his youth was in love. However, he argued that "Portrait Of Jadwiga"purchased Picasso's in store for the price of a blank canvas, depicts his teacher polka. Of course, the young man could be in love in a teacher, but here we finally are moving into the region of guesswork, so back to the fact: Rousseau liked the name Jadwiga.

"Dream" plays the space dreams, and this is space – an amazing richness of the palette allowed the artist to create three-dimensionality. Innovative opening scene was carried the sleeping girl into the world of her dreams. That is moved not the Jadwiga – the character of sleep, and she Jadwiga, looking sleep. The subtitle of the picture is possible to make "That was the origin of surrealism". The irony is that such an unusual manner, the Officer expressed his passion for academic salon painting. Is there anything more typical for this area than a Nude girl reclining on couch? In the interpretation of Rousseau, this story is banal not exactly call!

With the technical and coloristic side, the picture is flawless – many shades of green (here used more than 20 green tones), creating a sense of depth, vivid weaving of exotic flowers, ripe fruit. A riot of tropical flowers, fruits, herbs creates the allusion of Paradise. Many animals and birds, black musician, about which we, the artist explained that he is the tempter. But in this dream it would not go about danger or about the exile, the dream is clearly and obviously a sweet, truly a Paradise dream.

Unlike many other works of Rousseau, which was met with ridicule by the audience and colleagues, exhibited at the 26th salon of the independents "Sleep" immediately attracted admiring attention. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote about the exposition of the article, noting that it is now something over the Customs official, hardly anyone will dare to laugh – the audience and the artists recognized the painting a masterpiece. As the founder of surrealism in literature, andré Breton claimed that this picture "I absorbed all the poetry and all the mysteries of our time".

Author: Alain Esaulova