Henri Rousseau and Painting Essay

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The painting; Tropical Storm with Tiger (Surprise,) was fully painted/ completed in 1891 by, the unique, Henri Rousseau. He has used a canvas board, the oil technique and his wildlife genre to create this painting, and has been done so in the style of Naïve Art (Primitivism), Rousseau's preferred and primary style.

Rousseau's piece, the Tropical Storm with Tiger
(Surprise!) is an interesting yet dull and depressing image. The colours give an anxious feeling to the painting and makes everything else in the painting feel so sudden. Within the foreground you are able to see a lot of green, long grass, bushes, leaves and a tiger, it seems to be scared and hesitant about what is happening around him. He is crouched down and looking up, as if he is waiting for something that seems to be scaring him to pass by, the tiger is also huddled up within the long grass around it as if to give the people looking at the art, the impression that he's cold or frightened. Within the middle ground you are able to see many many trees which look like they're been blown around in a heavenly painted wind, Rousseau has used darker colours in this area of the painting but it is still very effective. The image itself seems to be mostly balanced, although there is a dominant tree within the painting that makes the tiger look small and powerless. Finally, within the background a dull, dark grey thunderstorm, a few strikes of frightening lightning and still that heavy wind effect, as you can see that the rain is been blown to the right side of the painting. Rousseau has an eye for nature and within this painting in particular, you are able to recognise that he has stuck with green as his primary colour and used different shades of green throughout his painting to portray different feelings to the different parts of the image, for example if you were too look more in the foregrounded area you will notice that the greens get lighter which gives you that sort of safe feeling and as you look deeper into the painting there is the more dark, scarce feeling to that side of the painting as well.

When it comes to the Elements of Art, Rousseau has combined different elements here and there to create a unique piece of artwork that he hoped would teach us about some lessons in life. Rousseau has used a lot of curved line and shape in this piece, line: to give the painting a flow towards the main character/ object; the tiger, to give the piece a rhythm or a theme and also as mentioned earlier, has also made the foreground the lightest part of the painting to attracted the eye and get our attention to the middle of the painting to help us realise the focal point, (the tiger), and shape: to work with line to help create the painted wind to give people that since of direction to look in. He has also used tone to create depth within his artwork creating that 3D effect which gives us the fore/middle and background parts of the painting. As you are able to see, Rousseau had no trouble in filling the whole canvas in, which this painting is now a positive piece of artwork because there is no uncoloured spaces inside or around the image. Overall, this artwork is a "united/unified" painting, because Rousseau has taken his nature genre and stuck with it, he hasn't put any city buildings such as skyscrapers or anything else out of the blue that doesn't fall within his nature category.

When is comes to Rousseau's technique and media, you'll find that the strokes of his paintbrush, (which is the media side), are smooth and give the painting a texture in the same aspect. Also as mentioned in the introduction, he has also used the oil technique to bring out the colours and give his artwork more character, (which is the technique side). One of his primary techniques that Rousseau has used all throughout this piece, is line, he has used his brush strokes to give the line, more line, in the sense that it creates movement. Henri has made it very clear by using his techniques,…