Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Henri Rousseau

Posted by smART bookx Stationery on Thursday, April 9, 2015 Under: Animals and Wildlife

Jungle Tiger Notebook (5" x 8")

   

About Henri Rousseau's 'Tiger in a Tropical Storm, Surprise!'
Henri Rousseau adored foliage. It is present somewhere in almost every painting he did. In Surprise!, painted in 1891 and now hanging in the British National Gallery, a tiger prowls through a stormy, rain-lashed jungle lit by flashes of lightening. A spectrum of rich vibrant greens is interspersed with the odd complementary splash of red. This was the first of a series of jungle paintings by Rousseau, the remainder of which came much later.  They share the common theme that they often document an encounter between two protagonists, usually wild animals, though in the almost exclusive case of Surprise! the only party we see is the tiger. We are left guessing who or what is surprised—is it the tiger or the unseen prey? Unlike later paintings in the series which are usually still to the point of tranquility, Surprise! is brimming with energy and movement.

The tiger itself was taken from a copy Henri Rousseau made of a sketch by Eugene Delacroix called Encounter of a Lion and a Tiger. The inspiration for the foliage came from frequent pilgrimages to the Jardin des Plantes ( the botanical garden in Paris ) and also from the World Exhibitions in which pavilions bursting with displays of exotic animals and plants from the French colonies were erected.  Despite rumors, possibly spread by Rousseau himself, that he had traveled in Mexico, it is highly unlikely that he ever actually set foot in the tropics or even left France at all.

In : Animals and Wildlife 


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