The Moment Ridicule Became a Thing of the Past

Imagine you are 40 years old. You work as a customs official and have only slight knowledge of the arts. One day you decide … “I’d like to be a painter!”

That’s what Henri Rousseau did. The Botanical Gardens and Zoo in Paris sparked his creativity in depicting nature. He started painting in his own style, ignoring convention. Nobody took him seriously. Picasso laughed at him!

Fast Forward 25 Years

A few months before Henri’s death, his painting “The Dream” (below) was exhibited at the Salon des Independants, where it was celebrated and purchased by the respected dealer Ambroise Vollard.

Henri Rousseau, The Dream (1910)

“It’s all right to be a late bloomer if you don’t miss the flower show.”

Rousseau didn’t miss it. — at MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.