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fauvism (fōˈvĭzəm) [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 cubism, 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The true fauvist should have been merely an animalpainter.
The characters are very believable, with human flaws that would have pleased a Fauvist like Matisse.
And as with many labels like cubist, Fauvist, jazz, and Beatnik, what begins in derision can become a badge of honor.
This one-time fishing port was discovered by Matisse, who made it the home of the Fauvist art movement, declaring that "no sky in all France is more blue than at Collioure".
Edwardian viewers were appalled and angered apparently by the simplicity of some images, (Fauvist Andr Derain's Martigues painting for example) and unused to the bold, solid colours utilised in others like the clashing tones employed by abstract art pioneer Paul Srusier.
Several moments from these works stand out as notably lush, even Fauvist in their accounts of characters, objects, or settings.
After these samples had been artificially aged for 500 hours using an UV-lamp, only one sample, from a paint tube belonging to the Flemish Fauvist Rik Wouters (1882-1913), showed significant darkening.
Iida Mitsuo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1905-68), a Taiwanese Fauvist of a younger generation, reinterpreted and expanded the meaning of "local color":
The exhibit, which runs until July 18, wraps up with works from Fauvist painters Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and Othon Friesz, showing how they, too, were drawn to the Seine before heading for the sunny Mediterranean.
The rooms are loosely themed (roughly: Portraits of women, nudes and portraits of men, landscapes, blockbuster masterworks) and such proximity amplifies affinities and shared virtues (the psychological astuteness of MatisseAAEs AoPlumed HatAo sets the mood for the well-observed intimacy in William Merritt ChaseAAEs AoThe Friendly CallAo).The DalesAAE taste was distinct and a little conservative: They preferred the accessible end of the era of experimentAuPicassoAAEs classical figure studies over his cubism, MatisseAAEs Nice-era nudes over his fauvist improvisations.
The show includes portraits and landscapes in Hoffmeister's Fauvist style, as well as 48 daily studies of the artist's daughter.
And Cotter's fauvist broad strokes here serve to smear the mature and frankly more interesting observations he offers.