Henri Rousseau, the French customs inspector
and self-taught painter whose Sleeping Gypsy
is one of the most popular paintings in New
York's Museum of Modern Art.
Although he often copied art in the Louvre,
Rousseau was essentially self-taught. He frequently
strolled through the suburbs of Paris, sketching
from nature. He wrote: "Nothing makes me happier
than to contemplate nature and to paint it.
Would you believe it that when I go out in the
country and see all that sun, all that greenery
and all those flowers, I sometimes say to myself:
'All that belongs to me, it does.'"