Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner. This style of art was characteristic of people who had no training nor professional studies in art.
Rousseau was known as Le Douanier (the customs agent), a description of his occupation as a toll and tax collector. It was not until after his forties that Rousseau started painting seriously since he did not have enough time due to his job. Eventually, he ended up retiring to become a full-time painter.
His best-known paintings illustrate jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. It is said that he felt inspired by illustrations in Childress books and the botanical gardens in Paris. Rousseau's inspiration also came from stories he heard during his time of service when he met soldiers who had survived the French expedition to Mexico, and he listened to their stories of the subtropical country they had encountered.