Rousseau jungle animal portraits

Henri Rousseau was a self-taught French artist who loved one thing above all others: jungles!  Though he never left France, Rousseau found ways to fuel his imagination.  It may be tough to imagine, but Rousseau existed in a time without computers and cell phones.  He painted in the late 1800’s, so multi-agers and second-graders racked their brains thinking of ways Rousseau could possibly know what a jungle looked like.  He went to libraries, gardens, museums, and zoos to learn as much as he could, and used his imagination for the rest. Because he never went to art school, Rousseau was often criticized for his work.  We talked about this a lot, and all agreed that you can still be an artist, even if you don’t go to school! Now critics agree that Rousseau was a talented artist, and his whimsy and imaginative style made his paintings even more unique. Students made these jungle animal portraits in his style.