Henri Rousseau. The Dream. 1910

Henri Rousseau The Dream 1910

The Museum of Modern Art, 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."

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

Installation views

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This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

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

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