Stock Photo - Henri Rousseau: Unpleasant Surprise (Mauvaise surprise), Henri Rousseau, 1901, Oil on canvas, Self-taught painter Henri Rousseau returned frequently to the theme of conflict in the natural world. His large-scale 'jungle paintings' are rife with violent struggles between wild animals—lions, tigers, horses—set in plush, exotic landscapes. Here, a hunter rescues a nude bather from a sharp-clawed bear that seems to emerge from the rocks below. The curvy figure stands in a gesture of calm surrender, revealing dirty palms, while the man fires his gun at the beast. Rousseau's painting reads at first like a classic 'damsel in distress' scene in the vein of Ingres's Roger Freeing Angelica. And yet the closer one looks, the stranger the picture becomes, and the harder the narrative is to decipher. Why does the woman not seem particularly frightened? Why is the hunter rendered on such a small scale? Perhaps Rousseau intended this as a fantasy of primordial innocence in conflict with modern technology., Overall: 76 5/8 x 51 1/8 in. (194.6 x 129.9 cm)

Stock Photo: Henri Rousseau: Unpleasant Surprise (Mauvaise surprise), Henri Rousseau, 1901, Oil on canvas, Self-taught painter Henri Rousseau returned frequently to the.

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