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1) Henri Julien Felix Rousseau, 21 May 1844 to 2 September 1910 (age 66), was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier, a tax collector.
2) He started painting seriously in his early forties; by age 49, he retired from his job to work on his art full-time. Ridiculed by critics, he came to be recognized as a self-taught artistic genius.
3) Rousseau's work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists. Claimed he had "no teacher other than nature", although he received advice from two established painters.
4) His best-known paintings depict jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. Unfounded stories were spread by admirers that his army service included the expeditionary to Mexico.
5) His inspiration came from illustrations in children's books and the botanical gardens in Paris as well as tableaux of taxidermy wild animals. Claimed to have invented a new genre of portrait landscape
6) His flat, seemingly childish style was disparaged by many critics; people often were shocked by his work or ridiculed it. However, his work shows sophistication with his particular technique.
Date of Birth