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The Repast of the Lion

Henri Rousseau (le Douanier) (French, Laval 1844–1910 Paris)

Date:
ca. 1907
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
44 3/4 x 63 in. (113.7 x 160 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
Accession Number:
51.112.5
  • Gallery Label

    This work was probably shown in the Salon d'Automne of 1907, but it treats a theme that Rousseau first explored in Surprised! of 1891 (National Gallery, London). He based the exotic vegetation of his many jungle pictures on studies that he made in Paris’s botanical gardens, and adapted the wild beasts from popular ethnographic journals and illustrated children's books. Rousseau’s nickname, "le Douanier," derives from his job as a customs official.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower right): Henri Rousseau

  • Provenance

    Wilhelm Uhde, Paris (1910–at least 1911; purchased from the artist by July 1910 for Fr 200; sold to Keller); Julius Keller, Aachen (in 1914); [Stephan Bourgeois, New York, in 1923]; Adolph Lewisohn, New York (about 1923–d. 1938; cat., 1928, p. 196, ill.); his son, Sam A. Lewisohn, New York (1938–d. 1951)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. "Salon d'automne," October 1–22, 1907, no. 1493 or 1494 (as "Paysage exotique," possibly this picture) [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].

    Paris. Quai d'Orsay Pont de l'Alma. "Salon des indépendants (27me exposition)," April 21–June 13, 1911, no. 21 (as "Le repas du lion," lent by M. Udhe [sic]).

    Winterthur. Kunstmuseum. 1921 [see Bourgeois 1928].

    New York. Stephan Bourgeois. 1923 [see Bourgeois 1928].

    New York. Union League Club. "Exhibition of 'Modern' Pictures Representing Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Expressionist, and Cubist Painters," April 8–10, 1924, no. 30 (as "Lion and Crocodile," probably this picture).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Modern Works of Art," November 20, 1934–January 20, 1935, no. 23 (as "The Repast of the Lion," lent from the Adolph Lewisohn collection).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lewisohn Collection," November 2–December 2, 1951, no. 75 (as "The Repast of the Lion").

    New York. Guggenheim Museum. "Rousseau, Redon, and Fantasy," May 31–September 8, 1968, unnumbered cat.

    Tokyo National Museum. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," August 10–October 1, 1972, no. 105.

    Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 8–November 26, 1972, no. 105.

    Haus der Kunst München. "Die Kunst der Naiven: Themen und Beziehungen," November 1, 1974–January 12, 1975, no. 69 (as "Die Mahlzeit des Löwen," 1905).

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Die Kunst der Naiven: Themen und Beziehungen," January 30–March 31, 1975, no. H18.

    Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Le douanier Rousseau," September 14, 1984–January 7, 1985, no. 49 (as "Le repas du lion").

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Henri Rousseau," February 5–June 4, 1985, no. 49 (as "The Repast of the Lion").

    Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 7.

    Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 7.

    London. Tate Modern. "Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris," November 3, 2005–February 5, 2006, no. 48.

    Paris. Grand Palais. "Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris," March 13–June 19, 2006, no. 48.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris," July 16–October 15, 2006, no. 48.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 104.

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19.Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

    Basel. Fondation Beyeler. "Henri Rousseau," February 7–May 9, 2010, no. 26.

    Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. "Henri Rousseau," May 25–September 12, 2010, no. 38.

  • References

    [Wilhelm] Uhde. Henri Rousseau. Paris, 1911, unpaginated, fig. 13.

    Carl Einstein. Die Kunst des 20 Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 1926, p. 49, pl. 241, dates it 1904.

    Philippe Soupault. Henri Rousseau, le douanier. Paris, 1927, unpaginated, no. 19, ill., dates it 1905.

    Stephan Bourgeois. The Adolph Lewisohn Collection of Modern French Paintings and Sculptures. New York, 1928, pp. 196–97, ill.

    Modern Works of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1934, pp. 12, 24, no. 23, pl. 23, dates it 1904.

    Ambroise Vollard. Recollections of a Picture Dealer. London, 1936, p. 217, recounts a dream Rousseau had about his picture of a lion and jaguar exhibited in the Salon d'Automne of 1907, possibly this painting.

    Jean Bouret. Henri Rousseau. Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1961, p. 219, fig. 160, dates it 1905.

    Dora Vallier. Henri Rousseau. Paris, 1961, p. 101, ill., dates it 1907.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, New York, 1967, pp. 166–67, ill., date it 1907.

    Dora Vallier and Giovanni Artieri. L'opera completa di Rousseau il doganiere. French ed., 1970. Milan, 1969, p. 105, no. 193, colorpls. XXXIX, XL, dates it 1907.

    Carolyn Keay. Henri Rousseau, le douanier. New York, 1976, pp. 140–41, fig. 41, dates it 1905.

    Dora Vallier. Henri Rousseau. New York, 1979, unpaginated, ill., dates it 1907.

    Yann le Pichon. Le monde du douanier Rousseau. Paris, 1981, pp. 154–55, ill. (color), remarks that Rousseau referred to the works of Delacroix, Freeman, and Riou when painting it.

    Henry Certigny. Le douanier Rousseau en son temps. Tokyo, 1984, vol. 2, pp. 664–65, no. 307, ill., dates it March–April 1910.

    Cornelia Stabenow. Henri Rousseau: Die Dschungelbilder. Munich, 1984, unpaginated, no. 4, ill., dates it 1907.

    Michel Hoog. Henri Rousseau. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. New York, 1985, pp. 210–11, no. 49, ill. (color) [French ed., 1984, pp. 218–19, no. 49, ill. (color)], dates it about 1907.

    Christopher Green in Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2005, p. 37.

    Nancy Ireson in Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2005, p. 222, no. 48, ill. p. 153 (color).

    Frances Morris in Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2005, fig. 16 (color).

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 162, 300–301, no. 151, ill. (color and black and white).

    Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 142, 254, no. 104, ill. (color and black and white).

    Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 11.

    Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, p. xix.



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