summer camp

Are there really blue tigers in Haiti?

Well . . .there are! “Haitian jungle paintings” originated from the Centre d’Art d’Haïti, an arts movement founded in 1944 known for artists who practiced “la peinture naïve.” Artwork from Centre d’Art d’Haïti of is full of vivid colors, imaginative composition, and whimsy, often depicting imaginary jungles.
Why blue tigers? There are theories — one being that artists drew from a collective ancestral memory of Africa being descendants of West Africans enslaved by the French. Or perhaps Haitian artists saw photographs of tigers or reproductions of French paintings.
Reminiscent of the work of the French Post-Impressionist painter, Henri Rousseau (1884-1910), Haitian jungle paintings are favorites with art collectors around the world.
Pierre Maxo, who painted “Blue Tiger and Watermelon” seen here, was a student of the late Haitian master Gabriel Alix, who always painted two jungle cats, who passed away in 1998.


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