Peter here from McIntosh Mugs. One of our favourite mugs is Rousseau’s Tiger in a Tropical Storm but we couldn’t believe these amazing facts behind this famous post-impressionist masterpiece.
1. Longing to be recognized as a serious painter, the aspiring self taught artist supported himself by working as a toll and tax collector and only quit to paint full time when he was 49, two years after he painted Tiger in a Tropical Storm.
2. Rousseau was inspired to paint tropical animals like this tiger as they were all the rage in France in the late 1800’s, including a major exhibition on Delacroix, leading the artist to try his hand at it.
3. The painting was rejected for an exhibit by the conservative jury of the Academic de Peinture et de Sculpture, who considered it childlike and didn’t appreciate the graphic style. Rousseau changed its name to Surprised and exhibited it at the unjuried Salon de Independents show in 1891.
4. Rousseau claimed to have seen the jungle in Mexico on a trip, but in reality never left France his entire life. The jungle depiction and tropical animals were most likely derived from visits to the nearby Botanical Gardens, which included a stuffed tiger display.
5. The tiger is illuminated by a flash of lightning and appears ready to pounce on its prey which is not seen. Rousseau later claimed the prey was actually explorers being ambushed.
Thank you for listening to these amazing facts about Henri Rousseau’s Tiger in a Tropical Storm. Let us know in the comments what you think of this remarkable painting.