Laurie Fendrich, an artist herself, explains Rousseau’s case:
Art by nature both agitates and seduces us, Rousseau says. Its fundamental effect on us is to wreak havoc on our own lives—to make us long to get away from them. Art makes us long to become what we are not, and in longing to be what we are not, we end up self-conscious and obsessed with how we appear to others. In a word, we become vain.