Henri Rousseau was a French self-taught “impressionist” painter. His works are dedicated to outdoor scenes, closeup greenscapes that include vivid wildlife and exaggerated florals. His works are a blend of deep jewel tones, hyperbolized variations of natural scenes: that makes them perfect for fashionable emulation. Let Henri Rousseau’s work be the color of your moment.
Rousseau’s work is referred to as “naïve art,” which sounds really rude (It is, in title.) but represents a man with a unique vision of the world. His work distills life to its basic, beautiful elements yet draws out their inner life. No monkey is still, no grass blade erect, no fruit floating: everything has an activity. He creates these forests of life in a palette that I just cannot get enough of.
How this relates to fashionable inspiration is that, with camo and florals back in yet over exposed, the work of Rousseau teaches how to employ these common themes in fashion in new ways. Think more in differentiated monochromes and patterns broken up by a non sequitur blast of color. Mix earthy green and blue patterns with bright reds and oranges. Opt for more graphic and less realistic flowers and post-natural interpretations of the forest. Don’t go neon and don’t go pastel: still in the intense middle ground, like Crayola Bold Markers and Wild Berry Skittles.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix and match what you have, too. Rousseau seemed to break his own rules all the time yet maintained the same aesthetic every time. You can learn a lot in meditating on his work. You can peruse more paintings of his here to help you embrace this moment of color. Find more inspiration on styling below.