Fauvism – Definition, Examples, History & More – Art Theory Glossary

I. What is Fauvism?

Fauvism was an art movement that emerged in the early 20th century, characterized by vivid colors, bold brushstrokes, and a departure from traditional representational art.
It was a brief but influential movement that paved the way for modern art styles such as Cubism and Expressionism.

II. Origins of Fauvism

Fauvism originated in France in the early 1900s, with artists such as Henri Matisse and André Derain at the forefront of the movement.
The term “Fauvism” was coined by art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who used it to describe the bold and unconventional works exhibited at the 1905 Salon d’Automne in Paris.

III. Characteristics of Fauvism

The key characteristics of Fauvism include the use of intense, non-naturalistic colors, simplified forms, and a rejection of traditional perspective and proportion.
Fauvist artists often used color to express emotion and create a sense of energy and movement in their works.

IV. Key Artists of Fauvism

Some of the key artists associated with Fauvism include Henri Matisse, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, and Kees van Dongen.
These artists were known for their vibrant and expressive use of color, as well as their innovative approach to composition and form.

V. Influence and Legacy of Fauvism

Fauvism had a significant impact on the development of modern art, influencing movements such as Cubism, Expressionism, and Abstract Art.
The bold and experimental nature of Fauvist works challenged traditional artistic conventions and paved the way for new ways of seeing and interpreting the world.

VI. Criticism of Fauvism

While Fauvism was celebrated for its boldness and innovation, it also faced criticism from traditionalists who viewed the movement as too radical and chaotic.
Some critics argued that Fauvist works lacked technical skill and were too focused on emotion and expression at the expense of traditional artistic principles.