Fauvism and Expressionism
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Published: February 23, 2014

Introduction


The first of the major avant-garde movements in European 20th century art, Fauvism was characterised by paintings that used intensely vivid, non-naturalistic and exuberant colours. The style was essentially expressionist, and generally featured landscapes in which forms were sometimes distorted.


The Fauves first exhibited together in 1905 in Paris. They found their name when a critic pointed to a renaissance-like sculpture in the middle of the same gallery as the exhibition and exclaimed derisively 'Donatello au milieu des fauves!' ('Donatello among the wild beasts!'). The name caught on, and was gleefully accepted by the artists themselves.


            Landscape in Provence (Paysage de Provence) by André Derain

Charing Cross Bridge, London André Derain


The movement was subjected to more mockery and abuse as it developed, but began to gain respect when major art buyers, such as Gertrude Stein, took an interest. The leading artists involved were Henri Matisse, Rouault, Andre Derain, Vlaminck,Georges Braque and Raoul Dufy. Although short-lived (1905-8), Fauvism was extremely influential in the evolution of 20th century art.


 
Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse


 Green Stripe by Henri Matisse


Characteristics


✔ Intense Colours



    The first characteristic a viewer will notice on fauvist works is the intense colours used throughout the painting, which is what scared the audience back in 1905. Fauvists used pure and unblended colours in a way that has nothing to do with how the human eye views an object, person or a landscape. As Sabine Rewald from the Metropolitan Museum of Art puts it, fauvists' colours came "directly from the tube." The already "wild" colours were also intensified with the use of thick daubs and smears.


✔ Bold Strokes



    Another deviation from the predominant movement of the late 19th century, impressionism, was the absence of small and thin brush strokes. Instead, fauve art paintings are dominated by bold, undisguised brushstrokes. Therefore, if one pays attention to a fauvist painting, he can clearly see the strokes painters used to apply colour to the painting. As a result, transition between adjacent colours is quite abrupt, as it is evident on Andre Derain's portrait of Henri Matisse from 1905.


✔ Lack of 3D



    Disregard of three-dimensionality does not refer to disregard of perspective, as fauvist painters made use of the technique to depict depth in objects and landscapes. Instead, the issues that weakened the perception of depth on fauvist paintings were the seemingly autonomous bold strokes and the lack of subtle shading. This characteristic derives from the fact that fauvists' priority was not the accurate representation of a surface's appearance.


✔ Emotional Response



    As described above, contrary to impressionism, realism was not in the agenda of fauvist artists. Instead, as the Art Story Foundation suggests, fauvists used unnatural colour combinations in their works to elicit a variety of emotional responses. Therefore, the use of colour did not abide by any laws, but it was more a way for fauvists to depict their own emotions on the canvas. In this respect, Tate suggests that fauve art can also be seen as a form of expressionism.


Features!

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Thanks so much for reading!



Comments16
anonymous's avatar
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samjo989's avatar
Interesting, informative, and very well put together - thanks for sharing this :)
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
:D
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
You're damn awesome, brilliant work!
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
:love:
pica-ae's avatar
pica-aeProfessional Interface Designer
oh I loooove what you do with these skins :drool:
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
Haha :') Well, you helped me a lot :heart: Thanks!
pica-ae's avatar
pica-aeProfessional Interface Designer
:hug: 
ArtByCher's avatar
ArtByCher Traditional Artist
Excellent article my friend!! :clap:
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
Hope you found it useful awesome friend
ArtByCher's avatar
ArtByCher Traditional Artist
I did! I hope your well my friend :hug:
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
I'm fine dear, Hope you're well too mwahs! :hug:
sincebecomeswhy's avatar
sincebecomeswhyHobbyist General Artist
Excellent overview. 

Futurism should be next!
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
I already wrote about Futurism a long time ago! 


sincebecomeswhy's avatar
sincebecomeswhyHobbyist General Artist
Great, I'll check it out.
S-e-l-a's avatar
S-e-l-aHobbyist General Artist
Incredible, beautiful, and great information! I didn't even know what this style was called! :D
SRudy's avatar
SRudyProfessional Traditional Artist
Glad it was helpful! 
anonymous's avatar
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