At the dawn of the 20th century, the world of pictorial art in Europe was completely shaken up. This was due to the appearance of new styles, in particular Fauvism. This was a revolutionary and unusual art form that was initially the subject of much criticism, but it eventually triumphed and won the affection of painting enthusiasts.
The birth of the Fauvist movement
Fauvism is an artistic movement. More precisely, it is a pictorial movement that developed in France at the beginning of the 20th century, from 1905 to 1910. It is a style of painting introduced by Henri Matisse. Matisse learned the basic rules of Neo-Impressionism and the principles of colour from Paul Signac in the summer of 1904. He in turn shared his knowledge with his friends André Derrain and Collioure. Later, a group of painters who were passionate about this new style gathered around him. They took part in the “Salon d’Autonome” in 1905 and exhibited their innovative works. It was in this context that the terms “fauve” and “fauvism” were born. Today, great painters such as Bernard BUFFET are following in their footsteps.
The main characteristics of the Fauvist movement
The terms “Fauve” and “Fauvisme” were coined at the “Salon d’Automne” in 1905. It was the art critic Louis Vauxcelles who came up with the term “fauvism” during his visit to this famous exhibition at the Grand Palais, to designate the innovative works of these young painters. The nickname “fauvism” comes from the types of colours and styles that made them so distinctive. The originality of this painting lies in the simplification of the drawings and the pure, vivid and sometimes violent colours used whose contrasts are well emphasized. Unlike other styles such as Impressionism, Fauvism is violent and provocative.
The different themes of the Fauvist movement
What distinguishes Fauvism from Impressionism, mainly concerned with landscapes, is that the Fauvist painters were interested in a wide variety of subjects, such as interior scenes, beaches, harbours, nudity, portraits such as Derain’s portrait of Matisse, etc. In any case, nature was given priority. Thus, the nature of the southern part of France takes an important place. This region particularly attracted the painters of the Fauvist movement because of the light quality. However, this did not exclude the fact that a few artists were also interested in the landscape of Northern France. The Fauvist movement was short-lived, but its influence on the art of painting was considerable.