Description Henri Rousseau The Sleeping Gypsy (1897) The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohmienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Nave 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. Henri Julien Flix Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Nave or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a toll collector. Ridiculed during his lifetime, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.