Exotic Landscape
Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)
On View

A low-level bureaucrat in the toll collector’s office of the Paris city government, Rousseau received no formal training as an artist. Frankly naive, richly imagined dreamscapes like this scene of humanoid monkeys at play earned him the affection of avant-garde artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, who nicknamed him “Le Douanier” (the Customs Officer). Rousseau referred to his jungle landscapes as “my Mexican pictures,” claiming they were inspired by his military service in Mexico. But in fact Le Douanier had most likely never left France. His compositions packed with exotic flora and fauna were based on a careful study of picture books and animals at the Paris zoo.


  • Artist Name: Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)
  • Title: Exotic Landscape
  • Date: 1910
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51-1/4 x 64 in. (130.2 x 162.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1971.3.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

[Ambrose Vollard, Paris, 1910].
Tetzen-Lund, Copenhagen, by 1922.
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris].
[Chester H. Johnson Galleries, Chicago].
Mrs. Robert F. McCormick, Chicago and Washington; by 1933 (sale, New York, Sotheby's, 21 October 1971, lot 90, to);
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture Collected by Yale Alumni

  • New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1960-05-19 to 1960-06-26

Henri Rousseau

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1942-01-22 to 1942-02-23

Henri Rousseau dit le Douanier

  • Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 1961 to

Henri Rousseau

  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York, N.Y.), 1963-05-25 to

A Century of Progress

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1933-06-01 to 1933-11-01

Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and The Norton Simon Foundation_1

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1973-05-03 to 1976-06-15

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • Rich, D. C., Henri Rousseau, pp. 69, 72
  • Bouret, J., Henri Rousseau, pl. 49 p. 157
  • Vallier, D., Henri Rousseau, no. 171 p. 26, 310
  • Bouret, J., Henri Rousseau, pl. 15
  • University: A Princeton Quarterly, no. 60
  • Steadman, D., The Connoisseur, fig. E. pp. 226, 299
  • Vallier, D., Henri Rousseau, p. 89
  • Brommer, G., Discovering Art History, p. 387
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, pl. E pp. 226, 229
  • Zervos, C., Rousseau, 1927, p. 86a
  • Certigny, H., La verité sur le Dounier Rousseau, 1961, pp. 427-28
  • Vallier, D., Rousseau, il Doganiere, 1969, no. 252, pl. 112, 63
  • Keay, C., Henri Rousseau Le Douanier, 1976, pl. 32 p. 177
  • Brommer, G., Landscapes, 1977, p. 40
  • Alley, R., Portrait of a Primitive, 1978, pp. 71, 72, 79
  • Kolle, Helmud, Henri Rousseau, 1979, no. 33
  • Le Pichon, Y., The World of Henri Rousseau, 1982, p. 163
  • Stabenow, C. von, Henri Rousseau. Die Dschungelbilder, 1984, pl. 23
  • Certigny, H., Le Douanier Rousseau et son temps, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1984, no. 309 p. 668
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, pp. 174-175
  • Plazy, G., Le Douanier Rousseau-Paysages, 1994, p. 58
  • Dinerstein, Eric et al., A Workbook for Conducting Biological Assessments and Developing Biodiversity Visions for Ecoregion-Based Conservation, Part I: Terrestrial Ecoregions, 2000, cover
  • The Museums of the World, 2001, pp. 26-27
  • Schimmel, Paul and Thomas Lawson, Laura Owens, 2003, p. 32
  • Koch, Dr. Christof, The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach, 2003, cover
  • Dupre, Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today, 2003, cover
  • Morris, Francis, Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris, 2005, fig. 83 p. 113
  • Dupre, Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today (Paperback Edition), 2005, (detail) cover
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 748 p. 334
  • Professor Neil Spiller, Architecture and Surrealism, 2016, p.19(ill.), 20
  • Sotheby's, Hong Kong, Walter Spies: The Magic Realist, 2018, pp. 19-21
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