The Fauves , is regarded as the first movement of the twentieth century in the modern art that was initially inspired by Vincent van Gogh , Paul Gauguin , Georges Seurat and Paul Cézanne . The artistic movement sought the use of intense color as a way to describe light and space , and its members were the ones who redefined pure color and form as a means of communicating the emotional state of the artist. In this regard, Fauvism proved to be an important precursor to Cubism and theexpressionism , as well as a touchstone for future modes of abstraction.


What is Fauvism?


Fauvism or Fovism as it is also known, consists of a movement that was developed in the pictorial field in France and that stands out, mainly for the excessive use of striking and provocative colors and for the aggressiveness of its lines .


Mainly, Fauvism places an important value on individual expression . The artist’s direct experience with his subjects, his emotional response to nature and his intuition were the most important aspects of the technique and for this reason all the elements of the painting were used to achieve this goal.

What is Fauvism?

Fauvism is a painting technique considered a trend in the process of renovation of the arts , which is characterized mainly by the intensification of color , and by the creation of new dimensions , taking into account the different color combinations .

The Fauvists thought that by using colors they could express feelings and their way of painting was based on this idea. They did not want naturalistic representations , on the contrary, they wanted to enhance the value of the color itself. It was a rejection of the naturalistic tone palette that had been used by the Impressionists and rather they were in favor of violent colors to create a greater expressive emphasis .


Among the main characteristics of Fauvism we can mention the following:

  • It has a completely aesthetic and sentimental sense since it is linked to the circumstances of the moment.
  • It sticks to the total freedom of nature .
  • It is a more expressive than realistic technique , and focuses primarily on capturing the different colors.
  • The artist have a strong communion with nature, looking for a way to unite art with life.
  • He does not believe in conventions .
  • It is considered as a liberation without order that rejects other disciplines.
  • He has an enormous taste for black-African art .
  • It is not a type of art that seeks perfection , so it stands out for its simplicity .
  • Mix the inner world with the real world .
  • It uses a range of strong , contrasted colors , the unreal chromaticism standing out, to use colors that do not exist in reality.
  • Using strokes long and spontaneous to create sensations of depth .
  • It had a certain degree of deformation of objects and people, giving them some grotesque expressions .
  • They used direct and vigorous brushstrokes , with thick touches, without making any kind of mixtures , avoiding nuances the colors.

History of Fauvism

Fauvism is one of the 20th century movements in France , between the years 1904 to 1908. It had a great influence from the Impressionist movement , with Henri Matisse as its main exhibitor, which was characterized by the use of pure colors to delimit , provide volume , relief and perspectives in the works.

Fauvism actually had its beginning in 1901, but it managed to be recognized as an artistic current in 1905, when the artists made their first public appearance at the Salon d’ Automne in Paris, and in 1906 they organized an exhibition in the Hall of the Independents .


The Fauvist painters go against the impressionist postulates . For them the main aspect of painting is not light, but color . They do not believe that light forms colors and they almost claim that color exists by itself. When it comes to painting, the artists do not use mixtures but rather use the paint as it comes out of the bottle, that is pure , flat , alive , eye-catching , and free of contamination . It is important to mention that they do take the drawing into account because it helps them define the space of each color.

The colors they use are flat, as is the space, so that perspective is lost with color, depth is practically non-existent and they do not have light sources to organize the pictorial surface. Color is in charge of creating the space and it is simple and straightforward .


The Cubism had an important influence in sculpture especially when we refer to the abstract art which was based on geometric shapes . Fauvism hardly developed in the area of ​​sculpture as it was based mainly on painting.


The Fauvist literature was based mainly on finding the effect that was obtained through the unusual collision of unpublished situations or that occurred repeatedly, avoiding technique. It was considered as a literature full of aesthetics and sentimentality , extremely expressive and unrealistic.


Fauvism was a trend that managed to break with tradition, moving away from reality, showing rebellion , without capturing reality as it is, but rather reflecting the dynamic present in which man lives. This is why it is considered that Fauvism had a very important role in the development of different plastic languages .

Representatives of Fauvism

The main representatives of Fauvism are the following:

  • As its highest representative we have Henri Matisse (1869-1954).
  • Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
  • Georges Braque (1882-1963)
  • Albert Marquet (1875-1947)
  • Andre Derain (1801-1954)
  • George Rouault (1871-1958).
  • Maurice de Vlaminck.


Among the main and most recognized works of art of Fauvism we have the following:

  • Luxury, calm and voluptuousness, Henri Matisse
  • The dance, Henri Matisse
  • Westminster bridge, Andre Derain
  • Woman with a hat, Henri Matisse
  • Landscape in Chatou, André Derain
  • The River Seine at Chatou, Maurice Vlaminck
  • The siesta, Henri Manguin
  • The gypsy, Kees van Dongen
  • The kitchen, Maurice de Vlaminck
  • The Chatou Bridge, Maurice de Vlaminck
  • Portrait of Matisse, André Derain

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