Scout Attacked by a Tiger, 1904 by Henri Rousseau

What distinguished Rousseau from the rest of the artists was the childlike quality of his imagery which earned him the title of naive, or primitive artist. He used books, nature, and live animals from the zoo as sources of inspiration, combined with his remarkable imagination and creativity. Rousseau did not follow, nor was he influenced by, any preceding or present art movements. Rousseau's work was solely unique and personal as his reality and imagination collided into one. Wild jungle landscapes with exotic animals and isolated seductive figures are striking with their vibrant colors and textures, defined shapes, and unusual juxtapositions. Portrayal of the jungle, a nimals, and plants became a reoccurring theme or motif in Rousseau's fantastic art, thus becoming an important and dominant characteristic of his work. Each image glows from within exuding a sense of enigma and the supernatural. What's most ironic about Rousseau's artwork is that he never saw a jungle or traveled outside of France. Rousseau was highly revered by the Surrealists, who regarded him as their forerunner.