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Meadowland

Henri Rousseau1910

Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation

Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation

Rousseau became a presence in the world of art upon showing work in the Salon des Indépendants, an unjuried exhibition open to anyone who wished to participate. That exhibition was founded in reaction to the rigidities of the official Salon, which was organized by the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Rousseau showed his Breton Landscape, Winter in the 1907 Salon des Indépendants. An Italian artist and poet who saw it asked Rousseau to paint another landscape with cows, in the same way, but did not, it is said, care for the finished painting. Meadowland is thought to have been that work. The peaceful scene, with a cowherd wearing a red hat standing between a large tree with rounded leaves and two cows, has a mysterious air almost of fantasy. Tsuchida Bakusen purchased this work in Paris.

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