6 x 8"
oil on panel
My choice for the letter R for my series ArtistZ was well thought out because there are many painters I admire - Rodin, Rembrandt, Rothko, Renoir, Rivera to name a few. In the end, I chose the French painter Henri Rousseau and his brilliant 'The Sleeping Gypsy' as an Ode to the Full Moon, which takes place tonight. The bonus is it is the super moon and a lunar eclipse, if you're lucky enough to witness the beauty taking place.
Rousseau was Post-Impressionism, self-taught which explains his distinctive style that is unmistakable when you see a Rousseau hanging in a museum. He was born in France in 1844, his family was middle-class, he worked real jobs and painted in his spare time - he taught himself to paint mostly from copying works of art in the museums of Paris and at the age of 49, not unlike many of us, retired from his job and dedicated himself to art.
Rousseau painted 'The Sleeping Gypsy' in 1897 and described his subject this way, "A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her, overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic."
The painting hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, I always stop and stare for a good while - it has a peaceful, compassionate feeling about it that moves me.