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Styles & Periods
Fauvism

Fauvism received its name from an incensed critic, who likened the brightly colored canvases to wild beasts. The style was the first avant-garde current in France in the 20th century. Henri Matisse and his colleagues, André Derain, Georges Rouault and Raoul Dufy, sought to realize the potential of color in a different sense than it had been used by the Impressionists. Brazen color was used in a decorative manner, yet space was molded and defined in paint. This was a radical departure from the method in which painters worked with the effects of light before the turn of the century; this change was both emotional and based on visual observation. Matisse and his contemporaries were influenced by the work of the Post-Impressionists Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, whose work emphasized the intensity of color and featured geometrical shapes carved into the two-dimensional picture plane. The entire Fauvist movement was brief, only from about 1905 to 1907, but it had profound effects on 20th century movements, including German Expressionism.


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