The Douanier Rousseau. Archaic Candour.

Richard Dumas et Juan Manuel Castro
Du 22 March au July 17th, 2016
Henri Rousseau-Le rêve
Henri Rousseau
Le rêve, 1910
©Digital Image © 2016 MoMA, N.Y.-©2016. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence/DR

An extremely unusual painter, Henri Rousseau is a unique figure in the history of European art. His work is, however, in keeping with his time, the dawn of the 20th century : the exhibition compares his painting with several of his sources of inspiration, which included both academic painting and new painting, and with the avant-garde artists who enthroned him as the father of modernity, The Douanier Rousseau. Archaic Candour is a critical investigation of his art based on a consideration of the notion of archaism.
Archaism is thus the common thread in the works in this exhibition, presented initially at the Doge’s Palace in Venice in 2015, before going on to the Musée d'Orsay next spring. Henri Rousseau’s masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie (from The Snake Charmer to The Wedding Party) will be on display alongside paintings on loan from the most prestigious international institutions. Works by Seurat, Delaunay, Kandinsky and Picasso as well as other lesser-known artists, will evoke the wealth of interconnections woven around the Douanier Rousseau, the catalyst who stimulated an original way of exploring modernity.

Find all the information in the detailed presentation.

Read the detailed presentation


  • Guy Cogeval, director of the Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie
  • Gabriella Belli, director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
  • Beatrice Avanzi and Claire Bernardi, curators, Musée d'Orsay
  • Exhibition also presented in Prague, Narodni Galerie, from 16 September 2016 to 15 January 2017.