PARTY FOR ROUSSEAU
1995 Donald R Ricker
(46"x94" oil on hardboard)
Henri Rousseau was mocked and ignored by the art establishment of his day, yet he took himself very seriously as an artist. His greatest moment came when Pablo Picasso threw a banquet to celebrate Rousseau's accomplishments.
It was decided to have it in Pablo's own studio in the bateau lavoir. The immediate occasion is supposed to have been Picasso's discovery of the handsome, full length painting Portrait de Mlle. M. (1897), which Picasso bought for five francs. Among the guests invited for the meal were the dealer Ambroise Vollard, collector and authoress Gertrude Stein, artists Georges Braques and Marie Laurencin, and the poet Apollinaire, who read from a poem he had written for the occasion. In reply le Douanier raised his fiddle. Before long he was playing one of his waltzes, Clemence, named for his first wife.
Party for Rousseau exhibited in All Alaska Juried Painting Exhibition at the Bunnell Street Gallery in Homer, AK. June 1999 Selected by Juror Clarence Morgan
Party for Rousseau was exhibited at the 'D' Street Café in Anchorage AK September/October 1999 and reviewed by Suzie Buchanan for the Anchorage Free Press and by Andy Nau for the Anchorage Daily News.
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