Henri "Le Douanier" Rousseau (1844-1910) subjects included scenes of the Parisian suburbs and exotic jungtescapes, painted with painstaking detail, for example Surprised! Tropical Storm with a Tiger in 1891 (National Gallery, London).
Rousseau served in the army for some years, then became a toll collector (hence Le Douanier, "the customs official"), and finally took up full-time painting in 1885.
He exhibited at the Salon des Independants from 1886 to 1910 and was associated with the group led by Picasso and the poet Apollinaire, but his position was unique. As a naive painter, and a naive and pompous person, he was considered ridiculous, yet admired for his inimitable style.
Why is Henri Rousseau famous?
Henri Rousseau was a French painter, a self-taught naive artist.