Ahhhhh but do you know what Fauvism is?

Ahhhhh but do you know what Fauvism is?

Fauvism is about not using realistic colours or perspective techniques to recreate an illusion of reality. Bold, vivid and pure colours are selected to fit the emotion felt or to create an emotional impact.

The Fauvists were a group of French painters, including Henri Matisse, George Braque, Kees van Dongen and Maurice de Vlaminck and were from the Paris salon of 1905. Their artworks were characterised by their use of simplified forms, bright or often violent colours, and the use of complementary colours for more impact. The term "fauves" itself, means wild beasts, and was first used by the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles in a review that appeared on 17 October 1905. It referred to the fact that the artworks seemed crude and untamed to many people at the time. The Fauves believed that colour and a strong linear pattern were more important than realistic representation

Fauvism itself only lasted about three years but in that time it became a highly influential art movement. It was the first specific artistic movement of the 20th century, that would transform European art between the turn of the century and World War I.

Fauvism was not an official school with a manifesto, but a group of artists motivated by the same concerns. Matisse, Vlaminck, and other like-minded friends exhibited as a group at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905 and were given the name Fauves by the same art critic Louis Vauxcelles who also came up with the term cubism. Seeing a Renaissance-like sculpture incongruously placed in the same room, Vauxcelles remarked, ‘Donatello aux milieu des fauves’ (‘Donatello among the wild beasts’). Many other comments on the Fauves' work at this exhibition were equally uncomplimentary; one critic accused them of ‘flinging a pot of paint in the face of the public’.

Early influences to the Fauvist movement were Matisse, Delacroix, Manet and Gauguin. Fauvists were the first to be inspired by African masks, an interest they passed on to the cubists.

Other artists who were part of the Fauvist movement included Derain, Rouault and Braque. They all shared a love of intense colour, often used for decorative effect rather than to convey the natural appearance of things. Beginning in 1908, however, the group identity broke up, as the artists all starting developing in different directions. Matisse continued to be concerned with the emotional use of colour, as seen in his later paper cut-outs, but Braque had a radical change of direction after meeting Picasso in 1907, taking the first steps into developing cubism with him. In spite of its short life, fauvism had a great influence on the art movements that followed, particularly on expressionism and cubism.

Examples of fauvism art –

Henri Matisse

George Braque

Kees van Dongen

Maurice de Vlaminck

Posted: Monday 15 February 2010


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