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FAUVISM

Fauvism

This widely popular movement can be summed up by one word, color. Fauvism was a short lived style that rejected the soft palettes of Impressionism, enjoyed the freedom of color used by the Post-Impressionists, and embraced the energy and wildness of Expressionism.

Henri Matisse led the group of Fauvist artists known as "wild beasts". Other major figures within the group were Andre Derain, Georges Braque, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Raoul Dufy. These artists did not have very much in common other than their uninhibited and arbitrary use of intense, non-natutalistic colors for decorative and emotional effect.

The Fauves exhibited in Paris at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. This show is regarded as the advent of Modernism. This movement dissolved quickly as many of its adherents moved on to widely varying styles such as Expressionism and Cubism. The active length of this movement was short, however its influence over modern art as a whole is vast.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the fauves were called "wild beasts" by their contemporaries and critics? The term came from the art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who noted a classic Italian sculpture in the middle of a room at the Salon d'Automne that was also displaying a collection of Fauve works. Vauxcelles exclaimed: "Donatello among the wild beasts." It was probably not a compliment.

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