A self-taught artist, Henri Rousseau (1844 – 1910) was a sensation in the early 20th century among progressive artists and critics, who appreciated the directness and originality of his imaginative, naive, but deceptively sophisticated paintings. Here, the roads passing through space appear to swoop playfully upward as much as they recede into the distance. For The Banks of the Beivre Near Bicetra (1909), the artist identified the subject of his painting, a working class communist on the southern edge of Paris, in a handwritten note affixed to the reverse side of the work. The Arcades de Buc, an aqueduct built under Louis XIV to supply fountains at Versailles is recognizable at the right, and confirms the subject of the painting.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.