The Modernity of Henri Rousseau’s Bouquet

On 15 July 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

All eyes were on the naïve painter’s pleasingly composed bouquet of flowers.

Henri Rousseau, known as the Douanier Rousseau (1844–1910), Vase de fleurs (Vase of Flowers), oil on canvas, 48 x 38 cm/18.90 x 14.96 in.
Result: €141,680

Vase de fleurs (Vase of Flowers) by Henri Rousseau, better known as the Douanier Rousseau, fetched €141,680, four times its estimate. The still life proves that he was interested in more than just landscapes. In autumn 2019, the Maillol Museum (Paris) held another exhibition of works by painters too easily called naive. "From Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine: the Great Naïve Masters” recalled that the work of these totally self-taught artists often echoed the historical and aesthetic upheavals of their time.

this bouquet is consequently highly modern. The most beautiful work in a sale focusing on 19th and 20th-century graphic and decorative arts, the painting was surrounded by furniture that was also an ode to nature, such as a wardrobe in the purest art nouveau style by Louis Majorelle (1859–1926) inlaid with a clematis design (247 x 134 x 50 cm/97.24 x 52.75 x 19.68 in), which sold for €8,372.

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