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
  • Steadman, D., The Connoisseur,fig. E. pp. 226, 299
  • Dupre, Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today, cover
  • Certigny, H., La verité sur le Dounier Rousseau, pp. 427-28
  • Certigny, H., Le Douanier Rousseau et son temps, biographie et catalogue raisonné,no. 309 p. 668
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, pp. 174-175
  • Brommer, G., Landscapes, p. 40
  • Morris, Francis, Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris,2005, fig. 83 p. 113
  • Vallier, D., Henri Rousseau,no. 171 p. 26, 310
  • Plazy, G., Le Douanier Rousseau-Paysages, p. 58
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur,pl. E pp. 226, 229
  • Alley, R., Portrait of a Primitive, pp. 71, 72, 79
  • Dupre, Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today (Paperback Edition),2005, (detail) cover
  • Bouret, J., Henri Rousseau,pl. 15
  • Dinerstein, Eric et al., A Workbook for Conducting Biological Assessments and Developing Biodiversity Visions for Ecoregion-Based Conservation, Part I: Terrestrial Ecoregions, cover
  • Kolle, Helmud, Henri Rousseau,no. 33
  • Vallier, D., Henri Rousseau, p. 89
  • Chien Chu Ying, EPH Pre-school Learning Kit,2011, p. 11
  • Vallier, D., Rousseau, il Doganiere,no. 252, pl. 112, 63
  • The Museums of the World, pp. 26-27
  • Zervos, C., Rousseau, p. 86a
  • Brommer, G., Discovering Art History, p. 387
  • Professor Neil Spiller, Architecture and Surrealism,2016, p.19(ill.), 20
  • University: A Princeton Quarterly,no. 60
  • Schimmel, Paul and Thomas Lawson, Laura Owens, p. 32
  • Rich, D. C., Henri Rousseau, pp. 69, 72
  • Le Pichon, Y., The World of Henri Rousseau, p. 163
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 748 p. 334
  • Keay, C., Henri Rousseau Le Douanier,pl. 32 p. 177
  • Koch, Dr. Christof, The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach,2003, cover
  • Bouret, J., Henri Rousseau,pl. 49 p. 157
  • Stabenow, C. von, Henri Rousseau. Die Dschungelbilder,pl. 23
  • Sotheby's, Hong Kong, Walter Spies: The Magic Realist,2018, pp. 19-21
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