0048 Contesting "Le corps militaire": Antimilitarism, Pacificism, Anarcho-Communism and 'Le Douanier' Rousseau's La Guerre

  • Fae Brauer (Author)
    The University of New South Wales, Australia, and the University of East London, United Kingdom

    Fae (Fay) Brauer is Research Professor for Visual Art Theory, School of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries at the University of East London and Associate Professor in Art History and Cultural Theory at The University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts. Art, Sex and Eugenics, Corpus Delecti, co-edited with Anthea Callen was awarded 'best book of the year' prize by the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. The Art of Evolution: Darwin, Darwinisms and Visual Culture, co-edited with Barbara Larson was published in 2009 by The University Press of New England, while her latest book, Rivals and Conspirators: The Paris Salons and the Civilizing Mission is due to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2012. Currently she is preparing the books, Solidarist Species: The Art and Science of Symbiotic Evolution in the French Radical Republic and Regenerating the Body: Art and Neo-Lamarckian Biocultures in Republican France. She is also co-editing the books, Picturing Evolution and Extinction: Degeneration and Regeneration in Modern Visual Culture and Vision and Visionaries: Psychology, Occultism and Symbolism.

Identifiers (Article)


When the 1889 Military Law was passed, it established three-year universal conscription and a greater army of citizens to boost military preparedness for war in French colonies and against Germany. Far from its ramifications being of no concern to neo-impressionists, it was the subject of bightingly bitter antimilitarist cartoons by Maximilien Luce and antimilitarist paintings by the neo-impressionist outsider, 'Le douanier' Rousseau. Far from picturing the patriotic honor of becoming a soldier and the victories of war, as did Edouard Detaille, Rousseau did the opposite. In the heat of military slaughter of families at Fourmies, Rousseau revealed how conscription would transform French citizens into le corps militaire to fight not just against their arch-enemy with machine-like precision but against their very own people.


Aesthetic propaganda of the deed, Anarcho-communism, Antimilitarism, Conscription, Dialectical art praxis, Fraternal solidarity, Free association, Individual liberties, Le combattant isolé, Nation-en-armes, Pacificism, Subjection