A Centenial of Independance

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A Centennial of Independence

Henri Rousseau (French, 1844 - 1910)

Henri Rousseau commemorated the one-hundredth anniversary of the proclamation of the first French Republic in 1792. Peasants dance the farandole, a popular southern French dance, around three liberty trees and two female figures representing the First and Third Republics. Rousseau copied the dancers from a French magazine illustration but added waving banners, the liberty poles, and the allegorical figures. A wagon in the background is full of costumed musicians, reminiscent of parades the artist had seen. He used brilliant colors and solid forms to express the happiness of the scene symbolizing good government. To the right, the erect posture of the dignified republican leaders signals the solidity of the French Republic.

Currently on view at: Getty Center Museum

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