Volume 20, Issue 1 | Spring 2021

A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century by Andrei Pop

Reviewed by Dario Gamboni

Andrei Pop,
A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century.
New York: Zone Books, 2019.
320 pp.; 15 color illus. and 101 b&w illus.; index; bibliography.
$32.95 (hardcover)
ISBN: 978–1–935408–36–9

Andrei Pop’s A Forest of Symbols is an ambitious, original, and stimulating book, but also an incomplete and frustrating one. It does not give away from the start what its subject and objectives are; rather, the reader has to gather clues scattered across the text, starting with the contention that “the concerns of symbolist painters and poets were shared to a remarkable degree by theoretical scientists of the period, especially by mathematicians and logicians dissatisfied with the empiricism sweeping their disciplines,” so that “besides being art history, [. . .] this book is a history of ideas” (9–10). The plan of the book, however, is exposed at the end of the first chapter, and it may be briefly summarized here to give a sense not only of its arguments, but also of the case studies involved. The first chapter, entitled “Symbolisms in the Plural,” starts by comparing two paintings showing fragments of Haussmannian Paris from a balcony, Gustave Caillebotte’s Vue prise à travers un balcon (View Seen Through a Balcony, 1880) and Edvard Munch’s Rue Lafayette (1891), which the author appears to identify as examples, respectively, of radical empiricism and of self-critical Symbolism. It then introduces two of the main protagonists of the book, the German mathematician and logician Gottlob Frege and the French poet and art critic Gabriel-Albert Aurier, and argues that they shared a similar desire for “a sane apportioning of the domains of logic and subjectivity in the task of representation” (47). The second chapter, “Crises of Sense: The French Take on Edgar Allan Poe,” inquires “whether there is any symbolist method in the arts” by examining Stéphane Mallarmé’s translation and Eugène Manet’s illustrations of Poe’s “The Raven” (Le Corbeau), a work published in 1875 “that came to be regarded as a symbolist paradigm” (49). The third chapter, “Where Do We Come From? Symbolism’s Psychological Roots,” looks at sources of the “impasse of the subjective and the objective” in the tradition of color subjectivity, including with Frege and van Gogh, and exposes the “doubling” and paradoxical nature of attempts at depicting an individual’s perception of the world (49). The fourth chapter, “What Are We? A Symbolist Picture Theory,” examines “first-person” pictures by Gustave Caillebotte, Odilon Redon, Winsor McCay, and scientists like Ernst Mach and William James, before turning to the philosophical theory of pictures of Frege and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The fifth chapter, “Where Are We Going? Consequences of Symbolism,” deals with effects of this picture theory in Symbolist and Postimpressionist art—especially Georges Seurat’s Un dimanche à La Grande Jatte—1884 (A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, 1884–86)—and in what the author calls the “‘pointillist’ philosophy” of Mach, James, and Bertrand Russell. It argues that these achieve a “reconciliation of logic and empiricism [. . . that] is an important but neglected late achievement of symbolism” (50).

Readers familiar with Symbolist art, Symbolist poetry, and their historiography will notice the presence in this cast of characters of both “usual suspects” and newcomers. No study of the movement could do without Aurier, Mallarmé, or Redon, while Frege and Bertrand Russell have so far been left unexamined in this context. Such an inclusion can be seen as a contribution to the interdisciplinary tendency and especially the comparative history of arts and sciences that have been developing in recent decades. The methodological issues involved are left undiscussed by Pop, however, who is content to state at the end of his Preface: “To reflect this parallel but distinct project in art and science, my book will not dwell on what modern art borrowed from contemporaneous science, but on problems [. . .] that afflicted both artists and researchers, and how these problems were addressed in both fields” (16). Whereas other authors had been at pains to identify the media through which encounters and exchanges could actually take place—for instance Stephanie Heraeus, who demonstrated that the results of French oneirology reached the cultivated public from the 1840s onwards‍[1]—the suggestion here, not so different from the Zeitgeist of yore, is that people (of different generations) living at the same time in more or less the same place were necessarily dealing with the same problems.

Pop observes in passing that Frege “was hardly read at the time” (192), and the introduction of this author into the discussion of late nineteenth-century art and literature is counterintuitive to the extent that his motives, defined by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison in Objectivity as a “battle against subjectivity [that] was not based in Platonic contempt for appearances or Cartesian distrust of bodily sensations but was rooted in the struggle to transcend the privacy and individuality of representations and intuitions,” seems at odds with the embrace and exploration of subjectivity that is characteristic of the period.‍[2] At the end of his chapter on Symbolist picture theory, Pop seems to admit so much, since he writes: “What is missing from Frege’s account of sense, and is indeed uncongenial to his whole way of thinking, is an account of how subjectivity—imagination, memory, perception—touches sense, which is in turn the road to reference” (186). But this introduction, as more generally that of mathematics and logics among the range of possible sources and references of Symbolism, is an interesting addition worthy of debate. Pop’s interest in Frege’s Begriffsschrift (concept-script), which he finds underestimated by historians of science and contends was related to Symbolist theory (159–75), can also be seen as part of the growing interest in diagrammatic images and could be usefully extended into a broader investigation into the impact and use of mathematical and logical graphic representation. Among the little-frequented texts quoted by Pop is a 1902 review of Paul Richer by Alois Riegl in which the Austrian art historian noted that the “development of the visual arts until today [. . .] was in general always bent on the increase of the subjective moment, that is, it sought nature less and less in an independent Objective and more and more in a Subjective determined by the observer” (112). One should add that this position led Riegl to affirm, in his momentous Der moderne Denkmalkultus of 1903, the primacy of “unintentional monuments” for the theory and praxis of heritage conservation, because “We modern viewers, rather than the works themselves by virtue of their original purpose, assign meaning and significance to a monument.”‍[3]

The artworks and images that Pop brings into his argument display a similar combination of more or less inevitable masterpieces—as instances of Symbolist art or as comparative examples—such as Manet’s illustrations of Le Corbeau and Seurat’s Grande Jatte—and of little-known works and documents, such as Mallarmé’s textbook L’Anglais récréatif (Recreational English) (93–96), James Gillray’s palimpsest-like last drawing Pray Pity the Poor Blind Man (183–85), or Ernst Mach’s first draft for the famous drawing of the world seen from his left eye included in his 1886 Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen (Contributions to the Analysis of Sensations) (154). Pop shows a taste for experimentation that, like Mallarmé’s textbook, tends to be more amusing than convincing, proposing a mise en abyme of Mach’s drawing (155), reproducing photographs of La Grande Jatte taken “from extreme vantage points to the right and left” to conclude that “Seurat could not have been too concerned where we stood after all” (227–30), or attempting to demonstrate the “private” character of color by reproducing two photographs of Van Gogh’s 1886 The Artist’s Mother taken in the Norton Simon Museum with the same camera—but without a photographic reference scale. These lighthearted experiments may be related to the slightly oral style of exposition, at times endearing and at times irritating, by which the author conducts his argument, introducing in asides or even in footnotes, as if en passant, the most important elements, including Frege himself (24).

Another element of originality lies in the way Pop involves these works and images in his arguments. Very commendably, he considers that “pictures may serve as the critique and revision of a philosophical view as much as the other way round” (223), a rationale made explicit in connection with his interpretation of La Grande Jatte as an expression of “pictorial monism” comparable to Mach and Russell, while conceding that he “cannot do full justice” to the painting (222). The practical value of this declaration of equal rights, however, is diminished by the fact that Pop does not self-critically engage with the methodological problem of hermeneutics involved, although he is very much aware of the complex relation between word and image as a philosophical problem and of its importance for the Symbolist artists and writers. Paradoxically, for an author who pleads for the need to transcend the private and the individual, his readings of artworks are detached from context and historiography and tend to be disputable or even idiosyncratic, driven by a search for the illustration of a “philosophical view” rather than by questions raised by the artists or the works themselves. One of the works by Redon discussed in the book may exemplify this problem. Ophélie (1900–05, Woodner Collection, New York) is introduced by Pop in his discussion of Mach’s “first-person image” and should, by giving us hints of Ophelia’s “detached state of mind” without purporting “to make us into Ophelia,” demonstrate to the reader “where Mach went wrong, and how worthwhile was his effort” (175). This unexpected comparison seems to be based upon a formal analogy: “This arch around her is almost a first-person window like Mach’s left eye.” But the analogy is not convincing. The arch enclosing the female bust and the flowers can be related to Redon’s frequent motif of a cell or aura surrounding terrestrial and extra-terrestrial figures, with biological, astronomical, and possibly theosophical associations, but its resemblance (in this case) with the outline of the ocular cavity and of the corresponding field of vision in Mach’s drawing has every chance of being fortuitous. There are good reasons to think that Redon began this pastel in the vertical position, as one of his numerous female profiles surrounded by flowers, and that he turned it at some point into a horizontal format and an image of Ophelia, obeying not a “prior concept” but the “unforeseen byways of the imagination” so dear to him.‍[4] The fact that Pop, who takes at face value the reference of the title to Shakespeare’s play, does not consider such a possibility, is not fortuitous, because his combination of art history and history of ideas is blind to poiesis, to the artwork as process and the agency of materials.

This is not meant to discourage such comparisons or what could be called an “entangled history” of artistic and scientific endeavors, quite on the contrary, but some elementary precautions should be taken. Is it because he regards empiricism as something to be “questioned” (31) and hopes to show “by example that a historian can also be a Platonist” (238)? In any case, Pop makes no effort at defining or circumscribing the historical period and geocultural areas to which his study is devoted and in which his observations claim to be valid, beyond the conveniently vague “long nineteenth century.” At this level, we are essentially confronted with the usual suspects: the artists are mostly French and the scientists German (or Austrian). As for the nature and scope of Symbolist art, he proposes to use what he calls “a conceptual and not a historical definition,” namely, “art that works mainly by virtue of its meaning,” while adding that his book is about the “artists and writers at the end of the nineteenth century who called themselves symbolists” (8). The well-known fact that almost all artists and not a few writers now labelled Symbolists criticized or rejected the term passes unmentioned, and no reference is done to the proposals made to explain this attitude and the variety of what came, at the time or retrospectively, to be called Symbolist: should Symbolism be restricted to the Modernist canon (Robert Goldwater) or include the “peintres de l’âme” (Thérèse Burollet)? Was it an amorphous and international “nebula” (René Wellek), the art of a “generation” (Pierre-Louis Mathieu) or of a specific “moment” (Jean-Paul Bouillon), an “intellectual tendency” (Rodolphe Rapetti), or first and foremost a label connected to the cultural expansion of a literary movement (this reviewer)?‍[5] Regarding subject-matter, Pop observes that his “reader may notice how little of the iconography of pale consumptive virgins, suicidal consumptive students, pale consumptive Marys, and Polynesian girls who at least don’t look consumptive [. . .] is found in these pages” (189), a bizarrely offhanded characterization of “the mainstream of symbolist imagery” that seems to perceive no difference between Gauguin’s art and (a caricature of) the Salons de la Rose+Croix. And indeed, he misses the important distinction introduced in 1891 by Aurier between the artists whom he praised and called “ideists”—of whom Gauguin was for him the prime example—and those he regarded as “idealists” and condemned for their tendency to “arrange objectivity” instead of creating a work that would be (among other properties) “subjective, since the object depicted is not considered as an object, but as a sign of an idea perceived by the subject.”‍[6] He also misses the distinction—a related, but not identical one—defended by Maurice Denis when he attacked in 1892 the critics who confused “the mystical and allegorical tendencies, that is to say, the search for expression through the subject, and the symbolist tendencies, that is to say, the search for expression through the work of art.”‍[7]

The few articles published by Aurier before his premature death at the age of 27 and his posthumous “Essai sur une nouvelle méthode de critique” (“Essay on a New Method of Criticism”), in which Pop finds expressed a desire for the “sane apportioning of the domains of logic and subjectivity” already mentioned (47), provide him with the bulk of his art theoretical corpus of the period and—one could say—of the emic side of his approach. Of Denis’s vast, consistent, and intellectually sophisticated written oeuvre, only his celebrated 1890 “Définition du néo-traditionnisme” (“Definition of Neotraditionalism”) is briefly mentioned (102–04). In Symbolist Landscapes, James Kearns has analyzed in detail the critical reception of Aurier’s definition of pictorial Symbolism and the competing approaches of authors like Gustave Kahn, Charles Morice, and Alfred Jarry, but Pop takes no advantage of this study, nor those of other students of Symbolist art theory such as Andrew George Lehmann, H. R. Rookmaker and Henri Dorra.‍[8] The artists mentioned in A Forest of Symbols were avid readers, articulate writers, and theorists in their own right, but their contribution to what Pop calls “a symbolist picture theory” (141) are left untapped. The title of Gauguin’s painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897-98, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) is paraphrased in those of chapters 3 to 5 of Pop’s book, but Pop does not engage with Gauguin’s considerable literary output, recently studied by Linda Goddard as “an integral component of his art.”‍[9] Redon’s deliberate statements about his art and art in general, with which he questioned the hermeneutic authority claimed by commentators, are not called as witnesses when his works are interpreted. Is this, again, anti-empiricism? Or are the Symbolists themselves left unquoted because their texts contradict the author’s interpretation of Symbolism? Bouillon has clearly identified the sources of Denis’s thought in the young artist’s reading of what he called “science” and of positivist philosophy, especially Hippolyte Taine and Herbert Spencer.‍[10] He shows that Spencer enabled him to distinguish between the “subjective” and individual subjectivity, a confusion made by Pop that accounts for his anti-subjectivist arguments, despite the fact that Aurier himself, as we have seen, required the ideal work of art to be not only “Symbolist,” but also “subjective.”‍[11] This confusion between “subjective” and “individual,” and the ensuing dramatization of the “private” character of sensations, perceptions, and expressions is also at work in the gross underrating and misrepresentation of a crucial art theoretical element of Symbolism, including for its twentieth-century “consequences” (189). Comparing Frege’s Begriffsschrift with antecedents such as John Wilkins’s late seventeenth-century artificial language, Pop notes incidentally that the latter is “a utopian performance, like the invented visual signs of a David Pierre Humbert de Superville or Paul Klee, who hoped that humans would eventually find intuitive access to their synthetic modes of perception” (178). The irony is that Aurier had explicitly mentioned what he called “these directly signifying elements (forms, lines, colors, and so forth)”‍[12] and that Humbert de Superville’s “unconditional signs in art”—unconditional in the sense that their communicational value does not depend on the mimetic use to which they are put—exerted a major influence on Seurat, as Robert L. Herbert has demonstrated.‍[13] As for the consequences of such inquiries into the expressive power of formal means, also present in the writings of Gauguin, van Gogh, and Denis among others, they do not concern Paul Klee only but the pedagogical theory of the Bauhaus in general, as well as the theory of twentieth-century Abstractionism, and extend into the “semiotics of plastic signs” of the Belgian Groupe Mu.‍[14]

The price paid by Pop for his focus on a very narrow range of evidence and sources is apparent in the numerous other elements missing in his equation, of which I will mention only a few. Calling Seurat “a Platonist about shapes” because the schematic figures of La Grande Jatte represent “social types” rather than individuals makes sense only indirectly, and less because of “a familiarity with the physiological aesthetics of Helmholtz” (226) than because of the enduring influence of academic theory and its emphasis on generalization, transmitted—like Humbert de Superville’s “signes inconditionnels”—by Charles Blanc’s Grammaire des arts du dessin.‍[15] Pop’s war against the “corrosive skepticism about our knowledge of the world” (28) that he attributes to “the adoption of [the] psychological method in disciplines other than psychology” makes him mistake psychology for “psychologism” and ignore the immense influence of psychological research, in its many forms, on the art and literature of the late nineteenth century, although this influence has been investigated at least since Filiz Eda Burhan’s 1979 dissertation Vision and Visionaries, never published in book form, unfortunately, but much consulted if not always properly credited.‍[16] Among these many forms, a particular importance goes to the theory of Einfühlung (empathy), developed in the course of the nineteenth century in Germany and also represented in France by philosophers like Paul Souriau and Gabriel Séailles, to the experimental study of dreams, to psychopathology and the emergence of psychoanalysis.‍[17] Pop criticizes scholars of the late nineteenth century, “struck by the flourishing of esoteric doctrines,” for “focusing on the irrational” (16), but this is an expression of intellectual antipathy rather than of a search for objectivity, and the interests and activities of many scientific and cultural figures of the time do not conform to a neat opposition between rationalism and irrationalism, as the case of the Society for Psychical Research could show. Given Pop’s embrace of Platonism, it is also strange that he leaves aside Neoplatonism—Aurier quoted Plotinus as well as Plato—and ignores completely the role of religion, with its own claim to truth and its spectacular revival in the fin de siècle. The title of A Forest of Symbols refers to Baudelaire’s poem “Correspondances,” but the book does not address the theory of correspondences, vertical (between the material and the spiritual worlds) as well as horizontal (between the various senses and the corresponding media) for which it stood. A last, particularly painful absence regards the aesthetic notion of “suggestion,” which testified to the circulation of ideas between the arts and the sciences since it became popular in medicine and psychology before being adopted by writers and artists.‍[18] The term appears in A Forest of Symbols when the author quotes Mallarmé’s famous answer to Jules Huret’s 1891 Enquête sur l’évolution littéraire (Inquiry into Literary Evolution) (32), in which the poet criticized the Parnassians for “presenting the object directly” and advocated instead “allusion” and concluded “to suggest, that is the dream.”‍[19] Pop might also have noted that in a comment he quotes on Manet’s plate L’Ombre (1875) (69), the English poet Richard Hengist Horne had written: “The Artist has taken the hint of getting rid of the body altogether, by showing only the empty chair, with its equivocal shadows half suggesting some mortal remains, and the long, bedeviled sort of shadow of the Raven blackening the floor.”‍[20] Equivocation and suggestion: this is what Redon called “the sense of mystery,” an artistic strategy in which the stimulation of subjective response becomes a basis for intersubjective communication, and which can truly be regarded as an achievement of Symbolism and its legacy for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.‍[21]

The frustration mentioned at the beginning of this review is a result of this accumulation of absences and of a yawning gap between ambition and results. Selection is inevitable, but arbitrariness should be avoided. In his conclusion, Andrei Pop bows in extremis to “the context principle” (237), but context is conspicuously absent from his analyses, especially in the social sense. In his first chapter, he unexpectedly claims for his book a normative, political, and epistemological topicality, and contends that “a fresh look at symbolist art can shed light on the state of the humanities today” (31). A Forest of Symbols, he argues, aims not only to show that “the questioning of empiricism” was central to the development of Symbolist art, but also “to show the utility and rightness of this rationalist critique. Without working out the logical bases for our shared aesthetic, scientific, moral, and political projects, I do not see how we will overcome the tribalism overtaking twenty-first century life” (31). These are lofty aims, but fighting “tribalism” should begin at home and may mean taking into account what other scholars have contributed to the knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon one is studying, independently of their generation, language, or affiliation. The important studies mentioned in this review are all absent from Pop’s references, unless they are mentioned in passing and for minor details. So are many others that could have helped make A Forest of Symbols a better book, like Richard Shiff’s Cézanne and the End of Impressionism, for the relationship between Impressionism and Symbolism, or Natasha Staller’s study of “hermetic languages, universal languages, and anti-languages in fin-de-siècle Parisian culture.”‍[22] Selective reference is nothing new, but the cumulative ideal of science has lost ground in recent years, with negative effects on the state of the humanities. If Pop’s unbalanced study of “art, science, and truth in the long nineteenth century” could help reaffirm the need for a shared basis and an intersubjective space of scholarship, by way of its virtues and of its defects, it would be a useful book indeed.


[1] Stefanie Heraeus, Traumvorstellung und Bildidee. Surreale Strategien in der französischen Graphik des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Reimer, 1998). See also idem, “Artists and the Dream in Nineteenth-Century Paris: Towards a Prehistory of Surrealism,” History Workshop Journal, 48 (1999): 151–68.

[2] Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity (Boston: MIT Press, 2007), 273, quoted in Pop, A Forest of Symbols, op. cit., 282–83, n. 60.

[3] Alois Riegl, “The Modern Cult of Monuments: Its Character and its Origin [1903],” Oppositions, 25 (1982): 72; Alois Riegl, “Objektive Aesthetik”, Neue Freie Presse (July 13, 1902): 34.

[4] Odilon Redon to André Mellerio, 16 August 1898, in Lettres d’Odilon Redon 1878–1916 (Paris/Brussels: Librairie nationale d’art et d’histoire/G. van Oest, 1923), 33. See D. Gamboni, The Brush and the Pen: Odilon Redon and Literature [1989], trans. Mary Whittall, revised and updated from the French ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 178–79, 283.

[5] René Wellek, “What is Symbolism?”, in The Symbolist Movement in the Literature of European Languages, ed. Anna Balakian (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1982), 17–28; Pierre-Louis Mathieu, La Génération symboliste 1870–1910 (Geneva: Skira, 1990); Jean-Paul Bouillon, “Le Moment symboliste,” Revue de l’art, 96 (1992): 5–12; D. Gamboni, “Le ‘symbolisme en peinture’ et la littérature,” Revue de l’art, 96 (1992): 13–23. See also idem, “‘Of Oneself’, ‘To Oneself:’ Symbolism, Individualism and Communication,” in Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe, exh. cat. (Montreal: Museum of Fine Arts, 1995), 242–50.

[6] “. . . puisque l’objet n’y sera jamais considéré en tant qu’objet, mais en tant que signe d’idée perçue par le sujet.” G.-Albert Aurier, “Le symbolisme en peinture. Paul Gauguin,” Mercure de France (March 1891), 159-60, 162 (“ils se sont contentés d’arranger l’objectivité [. . .] 4° Subjective, puisque l’objet n’y sera jamais considéré en tant qu’objet, mais en tant que signe d’idée perçue par le sujet ;”); trans. Henri Dorra in Symbolist Art Theories: A Critical Anthology (Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, 1994), 198, 200.

[7] “. . . les tendances mystiques et allégoriques, c’est-à-dire la recherche de l’expression par le sujet, et les tendances symbolistes, c’est-à-dire la recherche de l’expression par l’œuvre d’art.” Pierre L. Maud [Maurice Denis], “Le Salon du Champ-de-Mars. L’exposition de Renoir,” Revue Blanche (June 25, 1892), reprinted in M. Denis, Théories, 1890–1910. Du Symbolisme et de Gauguin vers un nouvel ordre classique (Paris: Bibliothèque de l’Occident, 1912), 14–19.

[8] Andrew George Lehmann, The Symbolist Aesthetic in France, 1885–1895 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1950); H. R. Rookmaaker, Synthetist Art Theories: Genesis and Nature of the Ideas on Art of Gauguin and His Circle (Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1959); Dorra, Symbolist Art Theories, op. cit. Pop refers to Rookmaker’s dissertation for an (edited) translation of Aurier (253n60).

[9] Linda Goddard, Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2019), back cover.

[10] Jean-Paul Bouillon, “Denis, Taine, Spencer: les origines positivistes du mouvement Nabi,” Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français (1999): 291–308.

[11] Ibid., 300; see Aurier, “Le symbolisme en peinture,” art. cit., 162 (trans. 200).

[12] Aurier, “Le symbolisme en peinture,” art. cit., 162 (“ces caractères directement significateurs (formes, lignes, couleur, etc.))” (trans. 200).

[13] See Robert L. Herbert, “Annexe H. / D.P.G. Humbert de Superville,” in Seurat, exh. cat. (Paris: Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 1991), 435–36.

[14] Groupe μ [Francis Edeline, Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, Philippe Minguet], Traité du signe visuel. Pour une rhétorique de l’image (Paris: Seuil, 1992).

[15] Charles Blanc, Grammaire des arts du dessin [1867] (Paris: Renouard, 1885); see Herbert, op. cit.

[16] Filiz Eda Burhan, Visions and Visionaries: Nineteenth Century Psychological Theory, the Occult Sciences and the Formation of the Symbolist Aesthetic in France, Ph.D. dissertation (Princeton University, 1979).

[17] See Dario Gamboni, Potential Images: Ambiguity and Indeterminacy in Modern Art (London: Reaktion, 2002), 180–82, with references; Allison Morehead, Creative Pathologies: French experimental psychology and Symbolist avant-gardes, 1889–1900 (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2007).

[18] Burhan, Visions and Visionaries, op. cit., 321; D. Gamboni, “De Bernheim à Focillon : la notion de suggestion entre médecine, esthétique, critique et histoire de l’art,” in Roland Recht, ed., Histoire de l’histoire de l’art en France au XIXe siècle (Paris: Documentation Française, 2008), 311–22.

[19] Jules Huret, Enquête sur l’évolution littéraire [1891], ed. Daniel Grojnowski (Paris: José Corti, 1999), 103 (“Nommer un objet, c’est supprimer les trois quarts de la jouissance du poème qui est faite du bonheur de deviner peu à peu ; le suggérer, voilà le rêve.”).

[20] Richard Hengist Horne, “Literature, Science, Art and the Drama,” Civil Service Review (June 26, 1875), reprinted in Edgar Poe, Le Corbeau, traduction de Stéphane Mallarmé, illustré par Édouard Manet. Dossier réalisé par Michaël Pakenham (Paris: Séguier, 1994), 47. See D. Gamboni, “A l’ombre du Corbeau,” in Renaissance et modernité du livre illustré, France XVe-XVIe et XIXe-XXe siècle. Ouvrages remarquables de la collection Jean Bonna, exh. cat. (Geneva: Cabinet des estampes du Musée d’art et d’histoire), vol. 2, 110–27.

[21] See Gamboni, Potential Images, 9 and passim.

[22] Richard Shiff, Cézanne and the End of Impressionism: A Study of the Theory, Technique, and Critical Evaluation of Modern Art (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1984); Natasha Staller, “Babel: Hermetic Languages, Universal Languages, and Anti-Languages in Fin de Siècle Parisian Culture,” Art Bulletin, 76 no. 2 (June 1994): 331–54.