Skip to main content

Henri Rousseau, Portrait of Joseph Brummer

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Joseph Brummer
Artist Henri Rousseau
Artist dates 1844 - 1910
Date made 1909
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 115.9 × 88.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Simon Sainsbury, 2006; entered the Collection in 2023
Inventory number NG6699
Location Room 41
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Joseph Brummer
Henri Rousseau

Staring straight at us while nonchalantly holding a cigarette is the Hungarian-born art dealer Joseph Brummer (1883‒1947), who had opened his gallery in Paris that same year. Brummer dealt in African works of art and was one of Rousseau’s most devout patrons. Seated in a wicker chair covered in red velvet, the young art dealer is set against a landscape.

The work is characteristic of Rousseau’s portrait-landscapes, in which he incorporated landscape to hint at his sitter’s identity. The self-taught artist was known for his elaborate paintings of imaginary jungles, with a variety of wild animals and colourful vegetation. His unconventional style was not well received at the beginning of his career, with critics describing his technique as ‘childish’.

When Rousseau submitted his work The Hungry Lion Throws Himself on the Antelope to the Salon d’Automne in 1905, he gained critical recognition. The work prompted a group of admirers to form, including the young Avant-gardists Pablo Picasso and Robert Delaunay, and his loyal art dealer Joseph Brummer.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo