Painting in the Jungle of Paris: An exploration of the Life and Work of Henri Rousseau

by Anna Bianco

This talk will be held through Zoom but we will also screen it in the Cirencester Baptist Church hall. A Zoom link will be sent to Members in February.

Visitors are welcome to attend the talk in the hall, or purchase a ticket (£8) to watch over Zoom.

February 22nd

Painting in the Jungle of Paris: An exploration of the Life and Works of Henri Rousseau

“We are the two great painters of this era; you are in the Egyptian style,

I in the modern style.”

Henri Rousseau said these words to Pablo Picasso in 1908, but how did Henri Rousseau, who had no formal artistic training, come to be accepted by the avant-garde artists of his time and today have his art works hang in many of the world’s greatest art collections?


In this lecture Anna will explore the fascinating and enigmatic life and work of the, sometimes called, ‘primitive’ artist Henri Rousseau. The lecture is full of vivid, bright and dynamic paintings which transport the audience to far away exotic lands that were developed in the artist’s imagination. Rousseau was a master of convincing others that he had travelled the world, both with his words and his art, but it is likely that he never left France at all.

The lecture is set against the backdrop of late 19th and early 20th century Paris and also looks at works by other renowned artists including Picasso, Leger and Gauguin.

Anna Bianco

Anna Bianco is a freelance curator, writer, lecturer, tour guide and art historian. She has been an accredited lecturer of The Arts Society for 11 years.


She has a BA History of Art and an MA in Curating from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has curated exhibitions and displays at The Wallace Collection, The British Museum, The Embankment Galleries and The Southwark Art Collection. She was Director of the Tryon St. Gallery on the Kings Road, and was Associate Curator at Copperfield Gallery, Southwark. She was also Senior Curator for Faith at Auckland Castle in County Durham.


Anna takes most enjoyment from helping everyone to discover the stories behind art works and museum objects and is currently in the process of writing her first book.

Image credit: Wiki Media Commons: Pubic domain and Anna Bianco