Conclusion: Henri Rousseau and Synthetic Naïveté

  • Claire Nettleton
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


Beginning with a detailed description of the Fauvist movement, the conclusion illustrates the ways in which the artist as animal myth entered the twentieth century. This chapter highlights the stakes of the project. The notion that we may have something to learn from animals threatens our political and philosophical investment in being human, and it undermines our notions of creative achievement. After all, who is willing to place Degas’ ballerinas on the same instinctual level as a spider’s web? That said, animals and art have been inextricably linked in the age of the Anthropocene. Given our time of environmental crises, this chapter emphasizes the continued role of art and literature today to replace the memory of flora and fauna during a time of its disappearance as well as bridge the divide between human and animal.


  1. Green, Christopher. Art in France: 1900–1940. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  2. Haraway, Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” In Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, 149–182. New York: Routledge, 1991.Google Scholar
  3. Ireson, Nancy. Interpreting Rousseau. London: Tate, 2005.Google Scholar
  4. Laforgue, Jules. “À l’Aquarium de Berlin.” In Œuvres complètes II. Lausanne: L’Age d’homme. Paris: Mercure de France, 1986.Google Scholar
  5. Shattuck, Roger. “Object Lesson for Modern Art.” In Henri Rousseau. New York: MOMA, 1984.Google Scholar
  6. Vauxcelles, Louis. “Salon D’Automne.” Gil Blas, October 17, 1905.Google Scholar
  7. Uexküll, Jakob Von. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: With A Theory of Meaning. Translated by Joseph O’Neil. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Nettleton
    • 1
  1. 1.Pomona CollegeClaremontUSA

Personalised recommendations