The Sleeping Gypsy is a painting produced in 1897 by French artist Henri Rousseau.
One of the most perceptible modern pieces of art and has been considered as one of the many inspiring works by poets and musicians and also frequently parodied.
Rousseau described the subject of The Sleeping Gypsy thus: “A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her (a vase with drinking water), overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.”
The night is clear, woman’s face is peaceful, probably she is dreaming something pleasant, and the lion too looks calm. The impression one gets is harmony between mankind and nature, but lion’s tail is raised and woman is holding the stick in hand, suggesting that harmony is more illusory than real. Both, lion and woman, are on the alert, warning that the trust between two worlds may get violated anytime
The work can be viewed at Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York.
Artist: Henri Rousseau
Location: Modern Museum of Art, New York
Medium: Oil on Canvas