Author: Thomas, Greg M.
Title: Art and ecology in nineteenth-century France : the landscapes of Théodore Rousseau
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 2000.
“In Art and Ecology in Nineteenth-Century France, Greg Thomas sets forth a new ecological model of landscape painting, in which the process of art is seen to mimic the creative processes silently at work in the environment around us. Developing an aesthetic of place with implications for the entirety of nineteenth-century art, Thomas focuses specifically and with engaging exactitude on the landscapes of Barbizon painter Theodore Rousseau. These paintings – dreams of nature as a web of life in which human beings occupy a peripheral role – overwhelmed Rousseau’s contemporaries with their novel light effects, original perspective, and “sheer profusion of visual sensation.” While Baudelaire considered them superior to even Corot’s works, they baffled art critics and have never fit convincingly into the received categories of naturalism, “pre-Impressionism,” or modernism.”