An Unusual Med for Melancholy
You often hear that Henri Rousseau was mocked for his amateur paintings, yet I find The Sleeping Gypsy to be the most appealing work of art inside the MoMA. And I’m someone who casually looks at art—I’m not too serious about the endeavor—but gazing upon this painting I feel profoundly moved. My jaw stiffens as if holding back tears—and my cold, bored heart feels oddly thrilled. Heh, please note—I would much rather risk being mocked for my emotional dramatics then deny this painting the thoughtful expression it deserves.
I should mention that The Sleeping Gyspy is an image of a lion that happens to cross paths with a resting gypsy in the desert. The painting dismisses the usual notion—that the ravenous lion will rip this vulnerable woman apart. Instead, there is harmony in a provocative mutualistic symbiosis, however fleeting it may be. The warmth and luminescence of the painting assure me of this. The surprising complexity of this scene immediately radiates upon the mind of any spectator, and leaving them with a mild euphoria. Trust me—this is a painting with a pleasant aftertaste.
It also might be worth noting that Rousseau created this enchanting scene with nothing more than his own innocent musings of the African desert. The Sleeping Gypsy is, in essence—the manifestation of a dream. Derived purely from imagination—I think that’s why it’s a painting you can really converse with, and even explicate from (as I do now).
In conclusion—if you’re ever hit with the melancholy blues—I reckon’ studying this painting for a few minutes might do the trick.