La Noce

Henri Rousseau (1844 - 1910)

At first sight, we are looking at a photographic portrait of a wedding. The protagonists in formal dress pose for the photographer. Strangely, however, the bride seems to be floating in the air. The bride’s veil is on top of the grandmother’s dress, contradicting the perspective suggested by placing the characters at different levels in the composition. A clumsy mistake? In fact it is intentional, it has been repainted and is therefore the artist’s deliberate choice. The bride, all in white, is like an apparition suspended in the air.
Here again, Rousseau plays with introducing an element of strangeness into the real world. The dog in the foreground, comically oversized and awkward, acts as a repoussoir or device to take the eye deep into the composition. Le Douanier asserts his position as the master of spatial paradox.
The group is framed by stylised trees that are too small and have improbable foliage.
The sky is an intense blue, ethereal. The trees and the yellow ochre background form a kind of mandorla around the group. Basler compares them to the idealised figures of medieval frescoes and the ex-votos of the Primitive masters.

Niveau -2, Salle 8 Les Arts à Paris