Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) was a naive painter. Best-known for his jungle depictions , he also created some marine paintings.
The subject referred to a panorama by Théophile Poilpot, completed for the Compagnie Transatlantique during the 1889 Universal Exhibition, or to the D’Encastreux cruiser, launched to sea in 1896. The rough waves superimpose a theatrical decor, with no effect of depth. The blue, white and red tones of the French boat contrast harmoniously with the various grays in the sky and sea.
Like the impressionists, to whom he exhibited, Rousseau was interested in the landscape. However, contrary to them, he sought to depict what he saw realistically. With no training, nor any artistic or scientific culture, he produced bizarre pieces of awkward proportions. Throughout his life, Rousseau was mocked by critics.