The Sleeping Gypsy  

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The Sleeping Gypsy (1897) by Henri Rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy (1897) by Henri Rousseau

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The Sleeping Gypsy or La Bohémienne endormie is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau. The fantastical depiction of a lion musing over a sleeping woman on a moonlit night is one of the most recognizable artworks of modern times.

Rousseau first exhibited the painting at the 13th Salon des Indépendants, and tried unsuccessfully to sell it to the mayor of his hometown, Laval. Instead it entered the private collection of a Parisian charcoal merchant where it remained until 1924. In 1939 it was brought by Mrs Simon Guggenheim who gave it to the New York Museum of Modern Art.

The painting has served as inspiration for poetry and music, and has been altered and parodied by various artists often with the lion replaced by a dog or other animal. In the Simpsons episode "Mom and Pop Art" Homer dreams of waking up in the artwork with the lion licking his head.

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