Henri Matisse, "Portrait of Madame Matisse (The green line)," 1905, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark] Les Fauves (French for "The Wild Beasts") were a short-lived and loose grouping of early 20th century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only three years, 1905–1907, and had three exhibitions.John Elderfield, The "Wild Beasts" Fauvism and Its Affinities," 1976, Museum of Modern Art, p.13, ISBN 0-87070-638-1] The leaders of the movement were Henri Matisse and André Derain.

Artists and style

The leaders of the movement were Henri Matisse and André Derain. Other artists included Albert Marquet, Charles Camoin, Louis Valtat, the Belgian painter Henri Evenepoel, Jean Puy, Maurice de Vlaminck, Henri Manguin, Raoul Dufy, Othon Friesz, Georges Rouault, the Dutch painter Kees van Dongen, the Swiss painter Alice Bailly and Georges Braque (subsequently Picasso's partner in Cubism).

The paintings of the Fauves were characterised by seemingly wild brush work and strident colours, while their subject matter had a high degree of simplification and abstraction. [http://www.tate.org.uk/collections/glossary/definition.jsp?entryId=102 "Glossary: Fauvism] , Tate, retrieved 29 December 2007.] Fauvism can be classified as an extreme development of Van Gogh's Post-Impressionism fused with the pointillism of Seurat and other Neo-Impressionist painters, in particular Paul Signac. Other key influences were Paul Cezanne [Freeman, 1990, p. 15.] and Paul Gauguin,fact|date=December 2007 who in 1888 had said to Paul Sérusier: [Collins, Bradley, "Van Gogh and Gauguin: Electric Arguments and Utopian Dreams", 2003, Westview Press, p. 159, ISBN 0-81334-157-4.] cquote|How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine; these red leaves? Put in vermilion. Fauvism can also be seen as a mode of Expressionism.


Gustave Moreau was the movement's inspirational teacher; [Freeman, Judi, et al, "The Fauve Landscape", 1990, Abbeville Press, p. 243, ISBN 1-55859-025-0.] a controversial professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and a Symbolist painter, he taught Matisse, Marquet, Manguin, Roualt and Camoin during the 1890s, and was viewed by critics as the group's philosophical leader until Matisse was recognized as such in 1904. [Freeman, 1990, p. 243.] Moreau's broad-mindededness, originality and affirmation of the expressive potency of pure colour was inspirational for his students.Dempsey, Amy. "Styles, Schools and Movements: An Encyclopedic Guide to Modern Art", pp.66-69, Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 2002.] Matisse said of him, "He did not set us on the right roads, but off the roads. He disturbed our complacency." This source of empathy was taken away with Moreau's death in 1898, but the artists discovered other catalysts for their development.

In 1896, Matisse, then an unknown art student, visited the artist John Peter Russell on the island of Belle Île off Brittany. [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/booktalk/stories/s1430343.htm "Book talk: The Unknown Matisse..."] , ABC Radio National, interview with Hilary Spurling, 8 June 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2008.] Russell was an Impressionist painter; Matisse had never previously seen an Impressionist work directly, and was so shocked at the style that he left after ten days, saying, "I couldn't stand it any more." The next year he returned as Russell's student and abandoned his earth-coloured palette for bright Impressionist colours, later stating, "Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained colour theory to me." Russell had been a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and gave Matisse a Van Gogh drawing.

In 1901, Maurice de Vlaminck encountered the work of Van Gogh for the first time at an exhibition, declaring soon after that he loved Van Gogh more than his own father; he started to work by squeezing paint directly onto the canvas from the tube.

In parallel with the artists' discovery of contemporary avant-garde art came an appreciation of pre-Renaissance French art, which was shown in a 1904 exhibition, "French Primitives". Another aesthetic feeding into their work was African sculpture, which Vlaminck, Derain and Matisse were early collectors of.

Many of the Fauve characteristics first cohered in Matisse's painting, "Luxe, Calme et Volupté" ("Luxury, Calm and Pleasure"), which he painted in the summer of 1904, whilst in Saint-Tropez with Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross.

alon D'Automne 1905

The artists shared their first exhibition at the 1905 Salon d'Automne. The group gained their name, after critic Louis Vauxcelles described their show of work with the phrase "Donatello au milieu des fauves!" ("Donatello among the wild beasts"), contrasting the paintings with a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them.Chilver, Ian (Ed.). [http://www.enotes.com/oxford-art-encyclopedia/fauvism "Fauvism"] , The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press, 2004. Retrieved from enotes.com, 26 December 2007.] Henri Rousseau was not a Fauve, but his large jungle scene "The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope" was exhibited near Matisse's work and may have had an influence on the pejorative used. [ Smith, Roberta (2006) [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/14/arts/design/14rous.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print "Henri Rousseau: In imaginary jungles, a terrible beauty lurks"] "The New York Times", July 14 2006. Accessed 29 December 2007] : this had a very positive effect on Matisse, who was suffering demoralisation from the bad reception of his work.


ee also

*Art history
*Visual Arts and Design
*History of Painting
*Western painting
*Neo Fauvism

Further reading


Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/fauveinfo.shtm Fauve Painting from the Permanent Collection at the National Gallery of Art]
* [http://www.sanderhome.com/Fauves/ "Fauvism: The Wild Beasts of Early Twentieth Century Art"]
* [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/fauv/hd_fauv.htm Rewald, Sabine. "Fauvism". In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2004)]

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  • fauvism — [fō′viz΄əm] n. 〚Fr fauvisme < fauve, wild beast, orig. adj., fawn colored, dun < OFr < Frank * falw < Gmc * falwa, FALLOW2〛 [often F ] a French expressionist movement in painting at the beginning of the 20th cent., involving Matisse, Derain,… …   Universalium

  • fauvism — FAUVÍSM s.n. Curent formalist în pictura franceză de la începutul sec. XX, care reprezenta lumea concretă în culori violente, folosind tonuri pure şi renunţând la perspectivă. [pron. fo vism, scris şi fovism. / < fr. fauvisme]. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • fauvism — [fō′viz΄əm] n. [Fr fauvisme < fauve, wild beast, orig. adj., fawn colored, dun < OFr < Frank * falw < Gmc * falwa, FALLOW2] [often F ] a French expressionist movement in painting at the beginning of the 20th cent., involving Matisse,… …   English World dictionary

  • fauvism — noun Usage: often capitalized Date: 1922 a movement in painting typified by the work of Matisse and characterized by vivid colors, free treatment of form, and a resulting vibrant and decorative effect • fauvist noun or adjective, often… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fauvism — noun An artistic movement of the last part of the 19th century which emphasized spontaneity and the use of extremely bright colors …   Wiktionary

  • fauvism — fauv|is|m [ˈfəuvızəm US ˈfou ] n [U] [Date: 1900 2000; : French; Origin: fauvisme, from fauve wild animal ] a style of painting that uses pure bright colours, which was developed in the early 20th century …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fauvism — see FALLOW …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • fauvism —  (No cap.) Short lived school of expressionist art in France.  Proponents, known as Les Fauves, included Matisse, Dufy, Braque, and Rouault …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Fauvism — n. 20th century artistic movement characterized by the use of vivid colors and sharp contrasts …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Fauvism —    From the French word fauve, meaning wild beast. A style adopted by artists associated with Matisse, c. 1905 08. They painted in a spontaneous manner, using bold colors …   Glossary of Art Terms

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