Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist artist in Primitive manner. Ridiculed during his lifetime, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.
His best known paintings depict jungle scenes despite the fact that he never left France or saw a jungle. His inspiration came from illustrated books and the botanical gardens in Paris. Along with his exotic scenes there was a concurrent output of smaller topographical images of the city and its suburbs. He claimed to have invented a new genre of portrait landscape, which he achieved by starting a painting with a view such as a favorite part of the city, and then depicting a person in the foreground.
Rousseau's flat, seemingly childish style was disparaged by many critics; people often were shocked by his work or mocked it. Many observers commented that he painted like a child, but the work shows erudition with his scrupulous technique.