Art Movements – Fauvism

Everything we see today is a result of evolution. Not just in the Darwinian sense but of all aspects of current society. Technology has evolved over the years to suit the changing society and rise in technological advances. General fashion and interior styles have evolved over the years to create age defining styles. Art has evolved to reflect the artists of the time. To truly appreciate the arts of today, it is an idea to see where it came from. There is saying that there is nothing new in this world. If we consider that we could contemplate that everything is a reinvention of something prior to it, therefore to an extent it is true, there is nothing new in the world. But surely it should have started somewhere?

Moving back to art from the slight tangent of philosophy there, I was intrigued with the movement of Fauvism. It is the first major avant-garde movements of European 20th Century Art. Avant-garde refers to people who are unorthodox, experimental or radical for their time. Fauvism uses vivid, unnatural colours to portray natural subject matter. It was an expressionist style which ranged from 1905 – 1908. It was a rather short movement but did have a lot of influence to the movements that were to follow.

André Derain was an artist and one of the co-founders of the Fauvism along with Henri Matisse.

These painting by André Derain exhibits the unnatural and vivid colours which wouldn’t be found in landscape art of other previous movements. It does convey the elements of expressionism which involve techniques such as agitated brushstokes, vivid colours, general disjointedness and exaggeration.


These paintings by Henri Matisse show similar elements of vivid colours, exaggeration and sheer emotion with the methods of applying the paint to the surface with the requisite tool. The distortion of perspective is more obvious in some paintings compared to others but it adds a beautiful element to the piece it is applied to.

Raoul Dufy is another Fauvist painter. While he still uses distortion to convey emotions, the colours are less vivid than his contemporaries; they are still unnatural to the general subject matter. He does appear to favour colour palettes with muted greens and blues.

This movement conveys a lot of beauty and a turn in the arts of the times. The expressionist movement begins from rougly the same time but extends into the 1920s. Within this time frame, various other avant-garde movements begin such as cubism, futurism, constructivism and bauhaus. It is an exciting time period and is a big change from portraiture and landscape art of previous centuries.


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