Late Bloomers, Grandma Moses and Henri Rousseau

“I’ll tell you, there is nothing better in life than being a late bloomer. I believe that success can happen at any time and at any age.”

-Salma Hayek, Actress

Normally it is assumed that talent and creativity peaks during youth and then gradually declines with age. But it may not be always true, in some cases; people discover their talent later than usual and achieve fame late in life. Such people are called as late bloomer.

grandma moses

Anna Mary Moses worked as housekeeper and farm hand, due to her and husband’s hard work they were able to buy farm of their own. In 70’s she developed arthritis which made it difficult for her to do embroidery work, so she started painting.

sugaring off

“I get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live”

-Anna Mary Moses

moses painting

She started painting rural life (pre modernisation). Initially her paintings were ignored, but later they were appreciated and were in demand. Her paintings were appreciated even more after her death in 1961 at the age of 101. The press used to call her Grandma Moses.


“The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life. The directness and vividness of her paintings restored a primitive freshness to our perception of the American scene. Both her work and her life helped our nation renew its pioneer heritage and recall its roots in the countryside and on the frontier. All Americans mourn her loss.”

-John F. Kennedy, President of US


Henri Rousseau was an octroi collector in Paris. At the age of 49 he retired from his job and decided to become a painter. Like Grandma Moses he has no formal training and was self-taught. His subject was wild life and jungles. Henri has never seen jungle in his life; he imagined things based on his visits to zoos and drawings in children’s books. Initially his work was ignored, but later he achieved fame.





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