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(fō`vĭzəm) [Fr. fauve=wild beast], name derisively hurled at and cheerfully adopted by a group of French painters, including Matisse, Rouault, Derain, Vlaminck, Friesz, Marquet, van Dongen, Braque, and Dufy. Although fauvism was a short-lived movement (1905–8), its influence was international and basic to the evolution of 20th-century art. It was essentially an expressionist style, characterized by bold distortion of forms and exuberant color. Only Matisse continued to explore its possibilities after 1908. Most of the others contributed to the development of new styles, such as cubismcubism,
art movement, primarily in painting, originating in Paris c.1907. Cubist Theory

Cubism began as an intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras.
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, which immediately followed the fauvist movement.


See J. P. Crespelle, The Fauves (tr. 1962); J. É. Muller, Fauvism (1967); S. Whitfield, Fauvism (1990).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an avant-garde movement in French painting of the early 20th century. The ironic epithet les fauves (“the wild beasts”) was given by critics to a group of painters including H. Matisse, P.-A. Marquet, G. Rouault, M. de Vlaminck, A. Derain, R. Dufy, G. Braque, and K. van Dongen, who exhibited their works at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1905.

In contrast to German expressionism, fauvism had neither a consciously adopted program nor a moral or philosophical orientation, but rather represented a purely aesthetic protest against 19th-century artistic traditions and an affirmation of an independent new outlook on painting. The fauves, who painted in various styles, were united for a short period, from 1905 to 1907, by their attraction to terse graphic forms, intense color contrasts, pronounced compositional rhythms, and a decorative and laconic technique, as well as a search for new inspiration in primitive, medieval, and Oriental art.


Leymarie, J. Le Fauvisme. [Geneva, 1959.]
Muller, J.-E. Le Fauvisme. Paris [1967].
Diehl, G. The Fauves. New York, 1975.
Oppler, E. C. Fauvism Reexamined. New York, 1976.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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