Saturday, April 6, 2013






Did you know there is an artistic term for the way Matisse paints--not just modernism or abstraction or expressionism? Fauvism was the first avant-garde movement of the 20th century. The term comes from the French les Fauves, which means “wild beasts.” The Fauves used bright, sometimes garish colors that often had no relation to reality; their forms tended to be unrefined and sometimes close to abstract.
As with most artistic movements, it began as a reaction against previous styles, in this case impressionism and more traditional ways of seeing; and, also like most new movements, it was not well received by critics and the art world at the time. The movement as such lasted only from 1904 to 1908 but much of its style echoed in expressionism, and it produced some of the world’s art masterpieces.

André Derain (1880–1954)

Maurice de Vlaminck (1876–1958)

Georges Rouault (1871-1958)


  1. I had no idea, and it makes me more fascinated with Matisse's painting!! Fauvism...wow.

  2. What a legacy those four years produced though. I love this explanation because I often look at a painting like this and wonder "why did he use THAT color scheme"? (As if I have ANY art education besides what I am learning here!) My favorite of these is Maurice de Vlaminck - something about the singularity of that boat speaks to me. Another lovely and educational post Elaine!

  3. I like some of the Fauvists, mainly for their use of color! Artists were still exploring new ways of seeing and translating their vision onto canvas. It's not my preferred choice, but I can appreciate some of the artists' paintings for the movement, and the lean look of this style.

    I'm enjoying your alpha lists of artists, and these posts bring to mind many I'd forgotten about. Thanks!

  4. I have seen an amazing Matisse exhibition in Paris, one of the best ever in my life

  5. You have chosen an A-Z theme that warms my heart. I love art, artists and anything connected to it. Oh, and my husband paints too.

  6. Thanks for bringing this style of painting to my attention again. Wonderful images, which, in my opinion, express true art.

  7. I had never heard of Fauvism. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. The paintings are beautiful. I wish this period would come forth again. I think it would be well received.
    A to Z April Blogging Challenge

  8. I've always liked Matisse but I never heard of Fauvism. Thank you for the lesson.~Denise Ferri

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