Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods


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.

Some Artists In This Style
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