Shannon M.

Henri Rousseau's "The Dream"

I think this painting reflects many of the elements of the 'stage play' analogy. But, what strikes me first about this piece is the tone, which I realize, isn't anything we're discussing in our Visual Language class. What I see are the dark tones and shades with a minimum of reflected light seen in the grasses and the woman on the settee. The woman being the focal point, but, it's interesting seeing the lion looking right at us!

The plants play the part of the of the crowd scene. With their narrow leaves and regular shapes, their place is repeated togive harmony and unity in the painting. The plants define 'jungle scene.'

To my mind, much of the supporting cast is even darker. I could hardly make out the elephant, but, I see the lions, the elephant, the man with the horn as the noises of the jungle. What's going on in the background to provide contrast of texture - meant in a difference sense (sounds).

The woman on the settee is certainly the focal point. Both are soft and curvaceous. Both providea horizontal contrast with the vertical forms of the plants, trees, man and animals. I think this painting needs all of it's element to provide the visual experience it represents. And, after all, it is a dream.