MoMA
No image available placeholder.
No image available
Henri Rousseau

The Dream

1910
On view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
6' 8 1/2" x 9' 9 1/2" (204.5 x 298.5 cm)
Credit
Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller
Object number
252.1954

Although Rousseau completed more than twenty-five jungle paintings in his career, he never traveled outside France. He instead drew on images of the exotic as it was presented to the urban dweller through popular literature, colonial expositions, and the Paris Zoo. The lush jungle, wild animals, and mysterious horn player featured in this work were inspired by Rousseau's visits to the city's natural history museum and Jardin des plantes (a combined zoo and botanical garden). Of his visits the artist said, "When I am in these hothouses and see the strange plants from exotic lands, it seems to me that I am entering a dream." The nude model in this painting reclines on a sofa, mixing the domestic and the exotic.

Gallery label from 2011
Provenance information
Ambroise Vollard (1867-1939), Paris. Purchased from Rousseau in February 1910 – 1933
Knoedler Galleries, New York. November 1933 – January 1934
Sidney Janis, New York. Purchased from Knoedler, January 1934 - 1953
Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York. Purchased from Sidney Janis, May 1953 - 1954
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, on the occasion of the Museum's 25th anniversary, 1954

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please e-mail provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, N.Y. 10019