The Painter of the Jungle He Never Saw

On the centenary of his death, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, is devoting an exhibition to this pioneer of classical modern art, The art of Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) comprising of about 40 masterworks. Viewers will discover Rousseau´s unusual portraits and the poetic paintings of French cities and landscapes in which he made visible the transition from the mundane to the mysterious. The exhibition culminates in a significant group of the artist´s famous jungle paintings. Although he had never actually seen a jungle, he created his own highly imaginative and colourful vision of it and its exotic denizens in his paintings. With his wonderful, often dreamlike compositions, Rousseau stood for the rediscovery of fantasy at the inception of modernism. He succeeded in opening new worlds for art, which influenced the Cubists and Surrealists and continue to excite art lovers young and old to this day.