There is not so much evidence about the years of Henri Rousseau’s youth, however it is known that he works as a musician for a French army in Mexico.
He found the inspiration for his works by visiting the botanical garden in Paris. He stated that the nature is the best teacher for him.
As an artist Henri did not receive a special education and was a rather self taught artist. The art movement that he represented was very new and originated by him. He was called a naïve or primitive painter for his rather childish style, very simple forms and colorful palette. He main subject of his works was a jungle, and considering the excessive use of this theme he stated that he invented a new genre which he called “portrait landscape”.
His personality description was clearly shown in the Van Gogh’s biography, as they knew each other. Rousseau was rather small and shy man, that had a rather uncommon behaviour, but clearly was a very kind hearted person.
He is also told to influence another very famous Art Movement in Paris which was called Fauves (wild in French) for the usage of a very bold palette.