Henri Rousseau (le Douanier)
Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (21 May 1844 – 2 September 1910) was a French post-impressionist painter. He worked as a small boy in a tinsmith, and received limited education. Nevertheless, from a young age Rousseau showed some artistic flare, wining prizes for drawing and music. After high school, Rousseau worked for a lawyer while he studied law. His legal career was cut short, however, when he was caught committing perjury and sought refuge in the army. After four years in the army Rousseau moved to Paris to take up an appointment with the government, and in 1871 was appointed a tax collector on goods entering the city. It was this occupation that later gave him his nickname, Le Douanier. Rousseau started painting seriously from his early 40s, and exhibited regularly in the Salon des Independants from 1886. Although he suffered ridicule from critics during his life, he came to be recognised as a self-taught genius after his death, influencing several generations of avant-garde artists.
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