Henri Rousseau. The Dream. 1910

Henri Rousseau The Dream 1910

Floor 5, Collection Galleries

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
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
Department
Painting and Sculpture