Fauvism was the first major modern art movement of the 1900’s.

The fauvism movement only lasted from 1903 to 1908, but the style influenced many artists in Europe and throughout the world.

Fauvism also had a great impact on German Expressionism.

The History of Fauvism & Noteworthy Artists

Henri Matisse was the founding father of fauvism.

Other artists of the movement included Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Georges Rouault. This group of French artists called themselves the fauves, which meant “wild beasts” in French.

The Fauvism Art Style

The fauves did not attempt to express political statements, ethical opinions, or philosophical or psychological ideas in their paintings. Instead they painted subjects that invoked feelings of pleasure, joy, and comfort.

The fauves favoured intense colour and vigorous brush strokes. They never painted objects in their natural colours.

For example, a fauve would not have painted grass as green; a fauve would have painted purple, red, or yellow grass.

Fauvism was inspired by Pointillism and Post-impressionist art. Specifically, the use of colour in the work of Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin influenced the fauves.

Like many other modern movements, fauvism was also influenced by modern concepts and industrialisation.

In 1905, the fauves had their first exhibition in Paris. At the exhibition, an art critic pointed to a Renaissance sculpture in the middle of the gallery and exclaimed, “Donatello au milieu des fauves!” which meant “Donatello among the wild beasts!” From that point on, the group of Parisian artists called themselves the fauves.

Fauvism died out in 1908. The members of the group went their separate ways, many of them turning to cubism.

Other Art Movements

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