Henri Rousseau was a French artist and customs official. A self-taught artist, Rousseau did not participate in the established art world. His art is considered to be in the naive school and did not receive recognition until after his death. Rousseau began painting at the age of 40 using a technique in which he meticulously painted one layer over another, beginning with the sky and subsequently adding layers, and culminating with a person or animal in the foreground. Although Rousseau never traveled abroad, the jungle was one of his favorite motifs.
A tireless traveler, Gauguin painted Brittany and Polynesia like no other before him. Today, his art is among the most expensive in the world.