L’Orangerie: Worst, But Still Good

The Museé de l’Orangerie in Paris is filled with many beautiful works of art. This is not one of them. That’s my opinion anyway. There’s just something about the peoples’ faces that weirds me out.

pere junier

La Carriole du Père Junier – Henri Rousseau, 1908

But. But! There are two amazing things about this painting. First of all, the boy in the carriage seems to be wearing a t-shirt with some sort of werewolf, or dog (weredog?) on it…


Which, if so, is obviously completely random for something painted in 1908. I mean, not that werewolves, or dogs (or weredogs) didn’t exist back then…but would someone be wearing a t-shirt sporting the image of one? Remember, ‘Twilight’ hadn’t been invented yet — Team Jacob wouldn’t exist for at least another 100 years. Was Henri Rousseau so prescient as to have predicted the advent of Stephenie Meyers’ literary juggernaut and the impact it would have on pop culture? Also, I have trouble imagining that kid would be allowed to wear a t-shirt in the first place. This was the early 1900s. People didn’t wear t-shirts, they wore suits with stiff collars and cravats! Especially for a jaunt around the park in the family carriage. Why is the boy dressed so differently from everyone else? These little details stand out, and I like them!

The second pleasing thing about this piece is the juxtaposition in size between the horse and the tiny dog trotting alongside it:


I mean, that is really quite great.

So overall, it is a somewhat creepy painting, but with some excellent redeeming features.


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