In addition to his large jungle scenes, Rousseau also painted small landscapes, including this view of a river or canal on the outskirts of Paris. While retaining a sharp, detailed rendering of objects, Rousseau has abandoned the flat tonality of his earlier works for more blended modeling and freer brushwork. The volumes of the clouds, trees, and houses occupy distinct areas in space, revealing the serenity of an organized world. A self-taught painter who, at the age of 41, quit his job in the Paris municipal toll or tax service to devote himself entirely to art, Rousseau was widely admired by avant-garde artists for his intuitive sense of design and inventive subjects.

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  • Title: Outskirts of Paris
  • Creator: Henri Rousseau (French, 1844–1910)
  • Date Created: c. 1897–1905
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 56.5 x 65.5 x 8 cm (22 1/4 x 25 13/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Unframed: 37.8 x 45.8 cm (14 7/8 x 18 1/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Henri Rousseau, M. Lefèbvre, Paris. His collection sale, Paris, Drouot, 3 March 1927 (lot 117, repr.), Paysage de banlieue, for ff 55,000, sold to Émile Level., Émile Level, Paris, France, consigned to Valentine Gallery, New York, NY, Valentine Gallery, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art on December 16, 1929., The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1929.951
  • Medium: oil on fabric
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower right: Henri Rousseau
  • Fun Fact: Rousseau once said to Picasso: "We are the two greatest artists of this era, you in the Egyptian style, I in the modern style."
  • Department: Modern European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, late 19th Century-early 20th Century
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Mod Euro - Painting 1800-1960
  • Accession Number: 1929.951

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