Whether sending one off to a loved one or keeping one as a personal souvenir, this beautifully reprinted postcard of Henri Rousseau's (French, 1844–1910) Carnival Evening makes a great memento from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.About the painting:
First shown in the second Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1886, this painting is an early demonstration of Henri Rousseau's unique chromatic imagination, his proto-Surrealist ability to juggle unexpected pictorial elements, and his untutored but brilliant skill in the stylization of forms. An officer in the French customs service, Rousseau scoured picture books of adventures in exotic locales in search of pictorial motifs. He combined these disparate elements in compelling images that early in the twentieth century attracted the devotion of vanguard artists such as Pablo Picasso. Here Rousseau locates mute, unmoving figures in carnival costume against a calligraphic backdrop of bare black tree trunks and branches. The dwindling light of dusk that filters down through the trees and the crisp winter chill, vividly evoked, both carry a hint of menace. Isolated and vulnerable in their fantasy clothing, the two figures confront the viewer bravely and with naïve conviction, like characters waiting for Samuel Beckett to write them a play.
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